The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) was quick to respond to a parting shot from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Director Dan Ashe. On Friday, the USFWS made a last-minute action to ban the use of traditional ammunition on Service lands in just five years.
The order, Director’s Order 219, can be viewed in its entirety here. It was issued on the final full day of President Obama’s administration. It revives an effort the administration took on eight years ago, initially planning to ban the use of traditional ammunition.
“This directive is irresponsible and driven not out of sound science but unchecked politics,” Lawrence Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel, said in a press release. “The timing alone is suspect. This directive was published without dialogue with industry, sportsmen and conservationists. The next director should immediately rescind this, and instead create policy based upon scientific evidence of population impacts with regard to the use of traditional ammunition.”
Director’s Order 219
The order requires several initiatives to go into effect immediately. Regional Directors are to work with state agencies to ban the use of traditional ammunition. It also ends the use of traditional ammunition on federal land. This includes in national parks, tribal lands and national wildlife refuges, in order to mirror policies in states where traditional ammunition is already restricted. The order “expeditiously” bans traditional ammunition “when available information indicates” that lead is harmful to wildlife, without requirement of a scientific threshold on which to base that action.
The new order also requires creation of a timeline to restrict traditional ammunition for dove and upland bird hunting.