Recommendations

  • State-level access oversight and advisory groups should be created. Ideally, these groups would include a broad cross-section of agency staff and stakeholders. Non-agency staff could include commission (agency policy oversight group) representatives, private landowners, representatives from hunting groups, conservation organizations, land trust organizations and possibly representatives from the legislature and/or governor's office.
  • An Inventory of Hunter Access Needs (or a broader access needs inventory) should be conducted by each state to guide future program growth and administration. This inventory should also be developed with input from other state and federal agencies, NGOs and other stakeholders.
  • At the state level, develop and share written hunter access plans among all of the stakeholders and agency partners. Having written plans will assist the inter-agency coordination of providing hunter access. States with plans should make them available to other states to assist them with plan development.
  • Develop line-items within agency/organization budgets specifically to support hunter access efforts.
  • Continue to explore and innovatively apply the "user-pays" philosophy to providing certain types of hunter access. However, agencies need to be mindful of the potential economic impacts that may result by having hunters pay additional fees for access.
  • Improve coordination among and between state and federal agencies regarding public hunter access to federal public lands. Decisions regarding hunter access to federal lands often are made at the local level, so state agencies and their partners should cultivate relationships with local federal agency staff. Conducting the inventory of access needs with input from others will help improve coordination.