The NRA and other NGOs sent the following letter urging governors to immediately open any non-developed public land or fish or wildlife area outside of high-population areas and in compliance with CDC guidance so that Americans can continue to safely pursue their passion for the outdoors—an activity that, at its core, is America’s most traditional form of "social distancing."
We, the undersigned organizations, representing millions of American hunters, anglers and conservationists who utilize public lands for hunting and fishing, ask you to please keep these lands open to the public. Now, more than ever, American’s need to have the ability to access these lands for a variety of reasons, including hunting and fishing to provide food for their families.
We strongly support efforts to contain the COVID-19 virus and believe that social distancing and other measures are important in stopping the spread of this virus. We also share concerns about potential risks to the health and safety of public employees arising from the continued operation of every public park and facility. Nonetheless, we cannot support the closure of remote parks and public lands during this crisis. Access to non-developed public lands and recreational areas during this crisis is essential.
Many states and the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Agriculture have waived fees to parks and kept access open to millions of acres of public land to encourage distancing in America’s vast wide-open spaces. Public lands can remain open and still facilitate the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidance while also providing a much-needed source of food and recreation for American families.
Closing these areas significantly limits the ability of our nation’s millions of sportsmen and women who take to our woods, waters, and wild lands every year to pursue their passion for the outdoors – an activity that is, at its core, America’s most traditional form of “social distancing.” Further, given the economic effects of COVID-19, it is more important than ever to allow hunters and anglers access to healthy and inexpensive sources of food to support their families.
For these reasons, we respectfully urge you to immediately open any non-developed public land or fish or wildlife area outside of high-population areas and in compliance with CDC guidance so that Americans can continue to safely hunt, fish and recreate. We also ask that you keep this in mind when considering any decision to restrict access to public lands.
Dallas Safari Club
National Rifle Association
Safari Club International