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Published July 08, 2010, 05:07 PM

USDA unveils program to boost recreational access

WICHITA, Kan. — The Agriculture Department has launched an effort to encourage land-owners to allow public access to their properties for recreational uses like fishing and hunting.

WICHITA, Kan. — The Agriculture Department has launched an effort to encourage land-owners to allow public access to their properties for recreational uses like fishing and hunting.

The Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program was announced Thursday by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The program offers up to $50 million in grants through 2012 to states and tribal governments to expand or create public access programs.

Vilsack says encouraging outdoor recreation will help efforts to revitalize rural economies.

Twenty-six states currently have some public access programs for hunting, fishing and other activities.

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