Last-Minute FWS Order on Lead Ammo and Tackle Issued
On January 19, 2017, the last day of the Obama Administration, Daniel Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), issued a surprise Director’s Order calling for a ban on traditional ammunition and tackle in National Wildlife Refuges. FWS Director’s Order No. 219, issued on January 19th, directs the Fish and Wildlife Service to phase in a ban on the use of traditional lead ammunition and fishing tackle for all activities on National Wildlife Refuge lands and waters. According to the NRA, this last-minute “unilateral action was taken without scientific evidence to support it and without consulting state fish and wildlife agencies.”
In response to this eleventh-hour “back-stabbing” by the FWS, the National Rifle Association (NRA) yesterday called on the U.S. Senate to swiftly confirm Congressman Ryan Zinke (R. Montana) as Secretary of the Interior. The FWS operates under the Department of the Interior. Presumably, FWS Director’s Order no. 219 would not have been issued if Zinke was in charge of the Interior Department. Hopefully Zinke can reverse the damage done, once he is confirmed as Secretary.
Photo courtesy NRAILA.org
“It is more important than ever that we have a Secretary of the Interior who respects the Second Amendment and will stand up for our rights,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “On behalf of the NRA’s five million members, I urge the Senate to swiftly confirm President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of the Interior, Congressman Ryan Zinke. The NRA looks forward to working with the Trump administration to reverse this government overreach.”
Operative Provisions of FWS Director’s Order No. 219:
Sec. 5 What steps will the Service take to phase in the use of nontoxic ammunition and fishing tackle?
a. The Service will continue to support targeted research to understand the human, fish, and wildlife health benefits of using nontoxic ammunition and fishing tackle.
b. The Service will continue to work with states and other partners on education efforts regarding the benefits and effectiveness of nontoxic ammunition and fishing tackle.
c. To ensure the public experiences a consistent approach to nontoxic ammunition and fishing tackle requirements, over the next 24 months, each Regional Director, in coordination with relevant Assistant Directors, should work with individual states, regional state fish and wildlife associations, and tribes to identify opportunities to expand existing state, Federal, or tribal requirements for use of nontoxic ammunition and fishing tackle on Service lands, waters and facilities.
i. Where states have enacted nontoxic ammunition or fishing tackle requirements for certain forms of hunting and fishing on state lands such requirements should be expanded to national wildlife refuges in those states through amendments to state or Service regulations, as appropriate.
ii. Where states have enacted nontoxic ammunition or fishing tackle requirements for certain forms of hunting and fishing that apply to state, private, and Federal lands throughout their states, Regions should ensure these requirements are enacted and enforced on Service lands, waters, and facilities in those states.
iii. Where individual Federal land units administered by other Federal agencies including the National Park Service, the National Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Department of Defense, or other agencies, have enacted requirements for the use of nontoxic ammunition or fishing tackle, Regions should adopt such requirements on Service lands, waters and facilities in the same states as those units through amendments to Service hunting and fishing regulations, as appropriate.
iv. Where individual tribes have enacted requirements for the use of nontoxic ammunition or fishing tackle, the Regions should adopt such requirements on Service lands, waters and facilities in the same states as those tribal lands through amendments to Service hunting and fishing regulations, in consultation with the appropriate tribe and state.
d. When available information indicates negative impacts of lead ammunition or fish tackle on sensitive, vulnerable or Service trust resources, the appropriate Regional Director, in coordination with the appropriate Assistant Director(s), will take steps to expeditiously require the use of nontoxic ammunition or fishing tackle to the fullest extent practical under Service jurisdiction to benefit such species or resources.
e. The Assistant Director, Migratory Birds, in consultation with National Flyway Councils and individual states, will establish a process to phase in a requirement for the use of nontoxic ammunition for recreational hunting of mourning doves and other upland game birds.
Sec. 6 When is this Order effective? This Order is effective immediately. It remains in effect until we incorporate it into the Fish and Wildlife Service Manual, or until we amend, supersede, or revoke it, whichever comes first. If we do not amend, supersede, or revoke it, the provisions of this Order will terminate on July 31, 2018.
[Signed] Daniel M. Ashe, DIRECTOR
Date: January 19, 2017
- Secretary Zinke Signs Orders Supporting Hunters and Anglers
- National Park Service Bans Lead Ammo and Fishing Tackle
- National Park Service Retracts Proposed Lead Ammo Ban
- Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke Picked as Interior Secretary
- California’s Lead Ammo Hunting Ban Goes into Effect