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Hunting won't be expanded on South Dakota wildlife refuge

ABERDEEN (AP) — The federal Interior Department is not moving forward with a proposal to expand waterfowl hunting at Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern South Dakota.

The agency cites overwhelming opposition from the public for its decision, saying the refuge northeast of Aberdeen is widely valued as a sanctuary for migratory birds and other wildlife.

Hunting is allowed on certain areas of the refuge as a management tool, with specific rules and regulations.

Retired South Dakota conservation officer Bill Antonides tells the American News that expanding hunting would have pushed birds out of the refuge earlier than normal. He says the decision not to expand hunting is good for both hunters and bird lovers.

Sand Lake was established in 1935 with an executive order signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.