Under the guise of protecting the environment and sensitive species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has initiated a process that could lead to the complete ban of lead ammunition and fishing tackle on federally managed “public” lands. On June 8th, 2022, the USFWS filed a proposed rule in the Federal Register to ban the use of lead on any new hunting opportunities in National Wildlife Refuges across the country. The move toward the ban is mostly appeasement for the notorious environmental extremist group Center for Biological Diversity (CBD).
Extremist Groups Behind Lead Bans
CBD filed a lawsuit in November 2021, following the 2020 expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities on 2.2 million acres of USFWS refuge land. Among other typically frivolous and baseless claims, the lawsuit alleges a risk to wildlife due to lead poisoning from spent ammunition. For example, a bullet that may remain in the intestinal waste matter from a harvested animal and such material is usually left behind by hunters to be consumed by scavengers.
It’s interesting to note that pressure from extremist groups has already led to bans on lead ammunition and/or fishing tackle in several states. California is currently the only state with a complete ban on lead ammunition and tackle. In addition, lead ammunition for migratory waterfowl, such as ducks and geese,