February 12, 2015

Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council Urges Denial of Petition on Lead Ammunition

On January 21, the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council (Council) sent a letter to Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell in opposition of a Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) led petition to ban the use of traditional lead ammunition on National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands. The Council includes 18 leaders within the sportsmen’s conservation community, including Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) President Jeff Crane, whose objectives and duties include providing advice and recommendations to the Secretary regarding wildlife and habitat conservation endeavors that benefit wildlife resources and recreational hunting.

The letter noted that, “a foundational principle for wildlife management is that management decisions and actions should be guided by the best available science. Concerning lead ammunition, the appropriate approach is to focus on those species and circumstances for which the science reveals adverse effects or a real potential for harm.” Using the best science available to make informed decisions about wildlife management is one the seven tenets of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.

As there is no evidence to prove the HSUS petition accurate, the Council rejected the claim that lead ammunition is acting as a widespread environmental contaminant that harms wildlife by its presence on public lands, and that the residues pose a health risk to humans.

In July 2014, 33 members of the American Wildlife Conservation Partners, including CSF, sent a similar letter to Secretary Jewell, denying the claim that traditional lead ammunition has adverse effects on wildlife populations and suggesting that state fish and wildlife agencies should lead wildlife research efforts.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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