August 31, 2021

Hunting opportunities expanding in Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge

The Gallinas River.

A national wildlife refuge in New Mexico will have increased opportunities for hunting as part of what the U.S. Department of the Interior described as the “largest expansion of outdoor recreation opportunities in recent history.”

On Monday, the department announced that 88 national wildlife refuges and one national fish hatchery would see expanded hunting and fishing opportunities, including opening seven national wildlife refuges to hunting or fishing that have been closed in the past.

As part of these changes, the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge will have more opportunities for hunting.

“Increasing access to outdoor recreation opportunities is essential to advancing the Administration’s commitment to the conservation stewardship of our public lands,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said in a press release. “Responsible hunting and fishing helps to promote healthy wildlife habitats while boosting local recreation economies.”

Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge is located at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. It has had two hunting opportunities in the past— for geese and mourning doves.

Under the new rule, people will be able to hunt Eurasian collared doves and white-winged doves in addition to mourning doves. The changes also include allowing the hunting of cottontail rabbits and opening up a youth elk hunt. It also expands the species of geese that can be hunted.

According to information in the Federal Register, the expansion of hunting opportunities at the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge will not lead to large increases in revenue and economic development, although there is a potential for slight increases in retail associated with hunting.