Donald Trump Jr. Appeals to Hunter, Conservationist Voters on Policies

Trump administration policies a boon for the outdoorsman, Trump Jr. says
October 7, 2020 Updated: October 7, 2020

Keen hunter and outdoorsman Donald Trump Jr.. is encouraging hunters and lovers of the outdoors to vote for his father in the upcoming presidential election. In a video posted on Twitter Wednesday, Trump Jr. pointed to measures taken by the Trump administration to open up public lands for hunters and sportspeople.

“Make sure you recognize what’s actually gone on,” the president’s eldest son said. “Make sure that you realize that Donald Trump has delivered for you.”

The Trump administration has introduced measures to open up public lands and waterbodies to hunting, fishing, and other outdoor pursuits.

In August, Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt announced the administration’s expansion of more than 850 hunting and fishing opportunities—which he termed “the single largest expansion” of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in history. The new rule applies across 2.3 million acres at 147 wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries across the United States, and Bernhardt said the administration would ensure $20 billion over the next 10 years to conserve public lands.

In his video message, Donald Trump Jr. spoke of what he called the “4.1 million new acres of public land made accessible by this administration—$900 million of new lands purchased for the same purpose.”

“New lands purchased to get you, your kids, your family into the outdoors and into the wild,” Trump Jr. said, adding that “$750 million to the Great Lakes to preserve that incredible fishery, and almost a billion dollars to the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee to save that area of Florida and all of the coastal fisheries surrounding it.”

Support From Hunters, Conservationists

The Trump administration’s moves to open up public lands to hunters and outdoorsmen has received support from several politicians, as well as gun-ownership, hunting, and conservation organizations.

“No one in modern history has done more than the Trump Administration to provide America’s sportsmen and women with greater opportunities to enjoy the outdoors,” said the National Rifle Association’s Erica Tergeson.

“Unlocking federal lands and waters to hunting, fishing, and other activities gives Americans more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and boosts economic activity,” said Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in August. “I applaud the Trump administration’s actions to expand recreational opportunities on federal lands.”

Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) said he supported the administration’s actions. “I applaud President Trump and the Administration for their strong commitment to increasing recreational access on public lands,” he said. “I grew up hunting and fishing with my dad and I did the same with my children.”

A bull elk keeps a watchful eye on a herd of cow elk in Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park, Colo. on Oct. 1, 2006. (AP-David Zalubowski/The Canadian Press)
A bull elk keeps a watchful eye on a herd of cow elk in Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park, Colo., on Oct. 1, 2006. (AP-David Zalubowski/The Canadian Press)

“The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) applauds the Department of the Interior’s efforts to expand access for regulated hunting and fishing opportunities within the National Wildlife Refuge System and the National Fish Hatchery System,” said AFWA President Ed Carter.

“In partnership with state fish and wildlife agencies, we are working to create great opportunities for people to get outside to enjoy the lands and waters, and fish and wildlife resources, of our great nation. With the concerted effort between the states and the federal properties to mesh regulations and seasons, it will become easier than ever for the public to enjoy these very special places.”

“The Interior Department’s actions to significantly increase access for hunters and anglers at the nation’s refuges and hatcheries are critical for wildlife management and ensuring Americans have ample opportunities to enjoy these time honored traditions,” said R Kyle Weaver, president and CEO of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

Criticism

The Trump administration has come in for criticism in recent months, however, for introducing a rule that eased restrictions on taking wolf pups and bear cubs during hunting in Alaska.

Activist group In Defense of Animals has called upon Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden to re-examine the rule if he is elected in November.

In addition, a group called Sportsmen and Sportswomen for Biden have attacked the current administration’s record, stating that rule changes and funding reallocations approved by the Trump administration “jeopardize our country’s endangered species, public lands, waters, climate change and air quality.”

In addition, the group says, Trump’s proposed 2021 budget would slash funding for national parks and the Environmental Protection Agency, while the administration’s efforts to reduce red tape will result in the approval of mining and oil and gas drilling in sensitive areas.