Bismarck, ND (KFGO-AM) Pressure from North Dakota state leaders, including the threat of a lawsuit was enough to convince the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to rescind its order closing federal waterfowl production area's to hunters because of the government shutdown. Late Friday afternoon the agency restored the area's to hunting just in time for Saturday's pheasant opener in North Dakota and Minnesota.
State Game & Fish Wildlife Division Chief Randy Kreil says the department pushed for the re-opening for the past ten days. He says minutes after the Governor's office announced it planned to take the matter to court, decision to re-open the public lands was announced.
North Dakota has more than 288,000 acres of federal waterfowl production area's. There are 200,000 acres in Minnesota. Pheasant numbers in both states are down significantly this fall and restoring access will give hunters additional opportunities.