WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Steve Daines (R-MT) and 21 colleagues introduced a bill to reorganize the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to prohibit the use of traditional lead ammunition or fishing tackle on public lands unless such action is supported by the best available scientific and governmental wildlife and fisheries authorities.
“I will continue to fight unnecessary bureaucracy that would limit the hunting and fishing opportunities for North Dakota’s sportspeople. This bill prohibits federal wildlife and land management agencies from banning the use of traditional, affordable lead ammunition or devices in national wildlife sanctuaries. said Senator Cramer.
“Sportsmen are the original conservationists and play an important role in wildlife management – the last thing we should do is restrict their access by introducing a blanket ban on traditional ammunition and equipment. Not only would this affect the revenues of our government agencies, but it is also unfair to athletes who cannot access or afford lead alternatives and who rely on hunting and fishing.” said Senator Daines. “Outdoor recreation is part of the way we live in Montana – I will continue to fight to protect our hunting and fishing heritage and ensure these decisions are guided by science, not politics.”
Last spring, the US Fish and Wildlife Service began settlement negotiations with activist organizations over a lawsuit alleging the use of traditional lead ammunition on more than 3 million acres of state. Senators Cramer and Daines sent a letter urging FWS Director Martha Williams not to give in to activist calls for restrictions on the use of lead ammunition and devices on public lands.
This bill also comes a week after the FWS released a rule that, while expanding access to hunting and fishing in certain wildlife sanctuaries, phased out the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle.
Joining Senators Cramer and Daines are Senators John Thune (R-SD), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), John Barrasso (R-WY), Jim Risch (R-ID), Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Rick Scott (R-LA), Mike Braun (R-IN), Dan Sullivan (R-AL), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Tom Cotton (R-AR), John Hoeven (R-ND), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Todd Young (R-IN).