WASHINGTON  — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge is proposing to expand hunting activities in 10 wildlife refuges across the country, including the Ouray National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Utah.

While the refuge currently allows migratory bird hunting and fishing, the proposal would allow upland game hunting of turkey and big game hunting of elk for the first time.

Other expansion proposals include the Crane Meadows Wildlife Refuge in Minnesota, which would allow deer and turkey hunting for the first time and the Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado.

The federal agency views hunting as an important tool in wildlife management, giving it a way to control populations of some species that otherwise could exceed the resources of its available habitat.

Hunting, within specified limits, is permitted on more than 200 national wildlife refuges. Fishing is permitted on more than 270 wildlife refuges.

The public has until Aug. 4 to provide comments. For more information, visit www.fws.gov/refuges/news/pdfs/2011-12RefugeSpecificPropRule.PDF.

Amy Joi O'Donoghue. Twitter: amyjoi16