(CBS4) — The Trump Administration wants to expand hunting and fishing opportunities at 97 national wildlife refuges and nine national fish hatcheries — including three national wildlife refuges in Colorado and two in New Mexico. If approved, it would be the single largest expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in history.

In Colorado, the plan would expand existing migratory bird and upland game hunting to new acres and open sport fishing for the first time at the Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge. It would open moose and pronghorn hunting on acres already open to other hunting at the Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge, and expand existing migratory bird and upland game hunting to new acres at the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge.

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In New Mexico, new proposed opportunities include expanding existing big game hunting to new acres and expanding season dates for existing migratory bird hunting at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge. It also includes opening hunting for waterfowl, javelinas and feral hogs on new acres and acres already open to other hunting. Additionally, it would expand existing migratory bird, upland game, and big game hunting to new acres.

View a complete list of all refuges and hatcheries in the proposal here.

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“I deeply appreciate everything sportswomen and men do for conservation and our economy, so I am delighted when we can do something to expand opportunities for them,” said Service Director Aurelia Skipwith.  I hope it will help encourage the next generation of hunters and anglers to continue on this rich American tradition.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking comments from the public on the proposed rule through June 8.

You may submit comments by one of the following methods:

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  • Electronically: Go to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the Search box, type in FWS-HQ-NWRS-2020-0013, which is the docket number for this rulemaking. Then, click on the Search button. On the resulting screen, find the correct document and submit a comment by clicking on “Comment Now!”
  • By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail or hand delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-HQ-NWRS-2020-0013; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS: PRB/PERMA (JAO); Falls Church, VA 22041-3803.

The Department intends to finalize the proposed changes in time for the upcoming 2020-2021 hunting seasons.