Posts tagged: lead
HUNTING — California will become the first state to ban lead ammunition for all types of hunting, according to a bill signed into law signed today by Gov. Jerry Brown.
The ban is set to be fully phased in by July 1, 2019, in order to protect wildlife and humans from the dangers of consuming lead-shot meat.
Animal rights groups help spearhead the legislation in part to protect endangered California condors, which have been known to die from lead poisoning after consuming lead-bullet-tainted gut piles or meat from animals wounded by hunters.
Brown said the bill protects hunters by allowing the ban to be lifted if the federal government ever prohibits non-lead ammo.
According to the Associated Press, opponents of AB711 argued that non-lead ammunition is more expensive and could be banned federally because it is technically considered to be armor-piercing.
Supporters of the new law say the use of lead bullets also endangers humans who eat game killed with the ammunition.
Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Rendon of Lakewood says the ban makes sense because lead has already been prohibited in paint, gasoline and toys.
In a mixed day for gun owners, Brown vetoed a bill that would have banned future sales of most semi-automatic rifles that accept detachable magazines, part of a firearms package approved by state lawmakers in response to mass shootings in other states.
The bill would have imposed the nation's toughest restrictions on gun ownership.
Brown also signed a measure from Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, which bans kits that allow people to turn regular ammunition magazines into high-capacity magazines.
He also signed two other pieces of legislation, which restrict the ability of mentally ill people to possess firearms.
SHOOTING — The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia today dismissed a lawsuit brought by environmental groups seeking to force the Environmental Protection Agency to ban ammunition containing lead components.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit in August. The court today agreed with NSSF that EPA does not have the authority to regulate traditional ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act.
The environmental groups are considering an appeal of today’s ruling, according to The Center for Biological Diversity, noting the federal judge dismissed the case on technical grounds but did not rule on the substance of the claim, namely whether EPA should regulate lead ammunition under the toxics law.
Read on for media releases on today's ruling from these two groups representing both sides of the issue:
HUNTING — More details on the U.S. Senate vote this week turning down the Sportsmen's Act:
The failure of the U.S. Senate to pass the Sportsmen's Act of 2012, sponsored by Montana U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, came as a surprise to many who believed the measures contained in the bill enjoyed wide-ranging public support, but Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions said the bill exceeded spending limits passed by the Senate in 2011 to address federal debt, and for that reason alone, the bill failed.
Great Falls Tribune
See stories on the optimism the act would pass a day before the Monday vote.
Today, the U.S. Senate will vote on, and likely pass, Montana U.S. Sen. Jon Tester's “Sportsmen's Act of 2012,” a grab bag of bills dealing with hunting, fishing, conservation and public access measures, but environmental groups said there are problems with some of the measures, including one that would preclude the EPA from banning the use of lead in ammunition.
WILDLIFE — It's been well publicized over the years, but we can't let people forget that our lower Coeur d'Alene river basin is a toxic stew for migrating waterfowl, thanks to the waste of a century of upstream mining.
An eyewitness to a swan death report the observation complete with a photo, posted on Huckleberries online.
HUNTING — Birding and wildlfie groups are focusing the spotlight on hunters and shooters who use lead shot and bullets claiming that 20 million birds die each year of lead poisoning.
HUNTING/FISHING — Editorials by leaders in the hunting and fishing community, findings from several new studies, and action by the U.S. military are prompting conservation groups to press Congress to re-evaluate proposed legislation that would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating lead in ammunition used for hunting.
The American Bird Conservancy compiled the following list of recent endorsements, editorials and research summaries to consider.
FISHING — Advisories for how much fish should be consumed from area waters that may be affected by mercury, PCBs or other contaminants are available in:
Idaho online or (866) 240-3553.
Washington online or (877) 485-7316.
These advisories are especially important for children and pregnant women.
FISHING — Starting Sunday, the use of lead fishing tackle will be restricted in northern Washington at 13 lakes frequented by nesting common loons.
After a year of discussion and public meetings, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission voted to prohibit the use of lead weights and jigs that measure 1½ inches or less along the longest axis at 12 lakes.
The lakes in Eastern Washington include:
In addition, the commission banned the use of flies containing lead at Long Lake in Ferry County.
The restrictions are designed to protect loons from being poisoned by ingesting small lead fishing gear lost by anglers.
Information on loons and lead tackle has been compiled on the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department's website.
The bills would modify the Toxic Substances Control Act to exempt bullets, shot, weights, lures and hooks, among other items, from EPA regulation.
WILDLIFE — Wyoming researchers say the distribution of nonlead ammunition to hunters in Jackson Hole is likely helping prevent lead poisoning of ravens, eagles and other scavengers. But the study is in its early stages.
This is the second year researchers have tried to gauge the impacts of hunters using lead-free ammunition on the levels of lead found in the blood of big-game scavengers.
Researchers distributed nonlead ammunition to about 100 hunters who had 2010 permits for the National Elk Refuge and Grand Teton National Park.
Biologists then captured ravens and eagles and measured the level of lead in the birds, which can ingest lead bullet fragments from gut piles and wounded-and-lost game.
Previous research has shown that lead in ravens and eagles rise during hunting season and then drop off after hunting season ends.
The Jackson Hole News and Guide says researchers plan to hand out more lead-free ammunition next hunting season.
ENVIRONMENT — In an effort to reduce lead toxicity hazards to wildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced last week that it has banned the use of lead ammunition for it's official control hunting of nuisance birds such as blackbirds, cowbirds, grackles, crows and magpies.
The agency often allows lethal control of these birds in areas where they congregate in numbers large enough to cause damage to crops or property or pose a health or safety hazard.
This new regulation will require the use of non-toxic ammunition in the control of these nuisance birds.
“Depredation hunting tends to leave large amounts of highly toxic lead ammunition on the ground that non-target birds and other wildlife consume while mistaking it for food,” said Michael Fry, an avian toxicologist and advocacy director for the American Bird Conservancy.
“We have had many discussions with FWS about using non-toxic shot for all agency operations and we are very glad they have made this decision.”
“The paint industry got the lead out, the gasoline industry got the lead out, the toy industry got the lead out, the home building industry got the lead out of plumbing, and even the automotive industry most recently is getting the lead out of the wheel weights on cars,” Fry said.
“The lethal impacts of lead in our environment are so well documented and accepted by the science and health community that any deliberate release of lead into a public environment should be viewed as unacceptable.”
ENVIRONMENT - Washington is taking another step today in giving lead the boot in the state's hunting and fishing circles.
Although pheasant releases won't resume until next fall in Eastern Washington, hunters technically will be required to use nontoxic shot at the specified pheasant release sites starting today.
The nontoxic shot rule that's been in effect at refuges and release sites for several years in Western Washington was set to phase in to the East Side in 2011.
The boundaries of those nontoxic shot zones have not yet been defined, said Madonna Luers, Fish and Wildlife Department spokeswoman.
Last month, the state Fish and Wildlife Commission unanimously approved rules restricting lead fishing tackle at 13 northern Washington lakes frequented by nesting common loons.
It was a federal rule that banned lead shot for use in waterfowl hunting starting in 1986.
FISHING – Restrictions on use of lead fishing tackle at 13 lakes with nesting loons will be considered by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission when it meets Dec. 2-4 in Olympia.
The lead issue is on the agenda for Dec. 4.
Studies have shown that loons can die of lead poisoning by ingesting lead sinkers as they forage for fish.
The 13 lakes where loons breed in Washington include Ferry, Long and Swan lakes in Ferry County; Calligan and Hancock lakes in King County; Bonaparte, Blue and Lost lakes in Okanogan County; Big Meadow, South Skookum and Yocum lakes in Pend Oreille County; Pierre Lake in Stevens County; and Hozomeen Lake in Whatcom County.
Click here for more information on lead and loons: