March 28th, 2009

National Park Service Retracts Proposed Lead Ammo Ban

National Park ServiceIn an official press release dated March 10, 2009, the National Park Service (NPS) announced its intention to ban all lead bullets, lead-containing ammunition, and lead fishing tackle in the lands under NPS control. National Park Service director Dan Wenk stated: “Our goal is to eliminate the use of lead ammunition and lead fishing tackle in parks by the end of 2010. We want to take a leadership role in removing lead from the environment.”

Well, it looks like the NPS was not prepared for a firestorm of criticism. This week it back-peddled, issuing another press release stating that there would be no actual lead ban affecting the general public.

National Park Service Clarifies Lead Ammo Policy
Faced with pressure from groups representing hunters and anglers, and criticism from some politicians, the Park Service has disavowed its stated policy to ban lead ammo and lead fishing tackle by 2010. Now the Park Service is saying that it was “misunderstood”. Last week the Park Service issued a “clarification”, stating that the proposed lead restrictions would only apply to Park Service employees and projects. Duly chastened, the NPS pledged to seek input from hunters, anglers, and other interested parties. No future ban on lead ammo or tackle will be imposed without “public involvement, comment, and review”. Here are the key points in the latest NPS release:

“1. Nothing has changed for the public. We are simply announcing the NPS goal of eliminating lead from NPS activities to protect human and wildlife health.

2. We will work to clean our own house by altering NPS resource management activities. In 2009, we will transition to non-lead ammunition in culling operations and dispatching sick or wounded animals.

3. In the future, we will look at the potential for transitioning to non-lead ammunition and non-lead fishing tackle for recreational use by working with our policy office and appropriate stakeholders/groups. This will require public involvement, comment, and review.”

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