The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation supports a bill introduced by 23 senators to prohibit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management from banning the use of traditional lead ammunition or tackle on public lands unless such action is supported by the best available science and state wildlife and fish agencies.
“Sportsmen are the original conservationists and play an important role in wildlife management—the last thing we should do is limit their access to public lands by implementing a blanket-ban on traditional ammo and tackle, reduce revenue for important state wildlife and conservation programs in the process,” said Senator Steve Daines (R-MT).
RMEF is part of a hunting alliance that filed a 2022 appeal in a case that did not allow hunting groups to have a say in a lawsuit filed by an extreme environmental group against the USFWS. The Center for Biological Diversity previously filed suit over the 2020 expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities on 2.2 million acres within the refuge system. The litigious group alleges that hunting on refuges threatens endangered species because hunters trample critical habitat, through lead poisoning from spent ammunition and fishing tackle, and because grizzly bears could be mistakenly shot by hunters believing them to be black bears or in self-defense.
“There is a lot at stake in this appeal,” Kyle Weaver, RMEF president and CEO said at the time. “This suit is nothing more than a baseless attack on hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation at a time when we have seen unprecedented growth in participation by Americans across our great nation. Ensuring quality hunting opportunities exist is core to RMEF’s mission and we will vehemently defend commonsense rules that allow our members those opportunities.”
(Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)