Washington, D.C.–U.S. Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch (both R-Idaho) joined Senator Steve Daines (R-Montana) and 20 additional colleagues to introduce legislation to prohibit U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) 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.
“Hunting and fishing are integral to the conservation and management of wildlife and part of the cultural fabric that binds Idahoans to the land and environment they love,” said Crapo. “Limiting access to hunting and fishing for food or recreation by implementing a blanket-ban on traditional ammo and tackle needlessly alienates many sportsmen who cannot access or afford lead alternatives.”
“Hunters and anglers are some of Idaho’s greatest supporters of conservation,” said Risch. “Banning traditional lead ammunition and tackle on public lands would significantly limit sportsmen’s access to recreation and directly reduce critical conservation tools and state revenues. As an avid outdoorsman, I am proud to support Idaho’s long-held traditions and preserve Second Amendment rights for responsible, law-abiding sportsmen and women.”
Last spring, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service entered into settlement negotiations with activist organizations over a lawsuit regarding the use of traditional lead ammunition on more than 3 million acres of federal land. Crapo and Risch joined their colleagues in urging FWS Director Martha Williams not to cave in to activists’ calls to restrict the use of lead ammo and tackle on public lands earlier this year.
This bill also comes one week after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a rule that, while expanding access to hunting and fishing at certain wildlife refuges, prohibited the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle.
Senators John Thune (R-South Dakota), Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia), John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), Rick Scott (R-Florida), Mike Braun (R-Indiana), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), Mike Rounds (R-North Dakota), Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming), Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), John Hoeven (R-South Dakota), Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Mississippi), Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) and Todd Young (R-Indiana) also co-sponsored the bill.