Newly minted Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, in his first day on the job, rescinded an order prohibiting the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle on all Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) lands that permit hunting and fishing.
The rescinded order’s text is no longer available on Department of the Interior’s website.
The rescinded order – entitled order 219 (Use of Nontoxic Ammunition and Fishing Tackle) – was enacted on the Obama administration’s final day, signed into effect by former FWS Director Dan Ashe. The Daily Caller described it as the Obama administration’s “parting shot on traditional ammunition.”
In a new order, Zinke described the previous prohibition on lead ammunition and fishing tackle as “not mandated by any existing statutory or regulatory requirement,” adding that it was “issued without signification communication, consultation, or coordination with affected stakeholders.”
Another new order partly explains Zinke’s views of the DOI mission to “[advance] conservation stewardship and [increase] outdoor recreation opportunities, including hunting and fishing, for all Americans.” The previous restriction on lead ammunition and fishing tackle, Zinke continues, was at odds with this imperative.
Zinke also directed the DOI to submit recommendations within thirty days towards the objective of “[expanding] access significantly for recreational hunting and fishing on public lands as may be appropriate.”
The National Shooting Sports Foundation praised Zinke’s move in a press release:
“The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industries, praises Secretary Zinke’s swift action in scrapping the ban on lead by hunters and anglers in outdoor recreation that was passed on the final full day by the Obama administration.
Zinke’s actions, just hours into his first day on the job, preserves the ability of hunters and target shooters to participate in their traditions on the first day in office and illustrate his priorities.
‘Secretary Zinke’s rapid response to the previous administration’s parting shot on hunters, target shooters and anglers demonstrates the true friend and common sense solutions we can expect from the Department of the Interior,’ said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “The timing of the traditional ammunition ban on federal lands tells you everything you need to know about the decision. Likewise, the decisive action by Secretary Zinke tells you what you need to know and what we can expect from an Interior Secretary who himself is a hunter, angler and outdoor sportsman.”
Timothy Cama at The Hill reported on lead’s ubiquity across ammunition types:
“Lead is standard in ammunition, and lead-free bullets are more expensive, leading opponents to accuse the FWS of trying to reduce hunting. Furthermore, opponents say, scientific studies do not show large-scale harms from lead use in hunting and fishing.”
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