Federal Programs

At the federal level, federal agency access programs target general multiple-use public access, but are not specific to hunter access, per se. In most cases, the federal agencies are interested in acquiring fee title purchase or in-perpetuity easements as real-property rights. As a result, the spectrum of federal hunter access programs is much more limited.

It should be noted that the public land holdings of federal agencies provide millions of acres of public hunting opportunity. Studies have documented that most of this land can be accessed with minimal or no barriers (see Highlights of Key Access Research). However, there are numerous examples where there is inadequate access to public lands.

Because all of the three federal agencies included in the assessment have de-centralized management/administration, their decisions regarding which properties or easements to purchase are localized. While these decisions are guided by various national-level planning documents, there appear to be opportunities for improved coordination among and between state agencies and local units of federal agencies regarding public access to federal public lands.