Today, Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) introduced S. 4940, a bill to limit how and where federal agencies within the Interior and Agriculture Departments can ban the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle. In response to serious concerns among the hunting, fishing and conservation community that the interests of sportsmen have been relegated to second-class status on this issue, the bill adds important safeguards to federal decision making regarding lead use on public lands.
S. 4940, appropriately named the “Protecting Access for Hunters and Anglers Act of 2022,” establishes new requirements for federal agencies, like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), when banning the use of lead ammunition or fishing tackle on public property. At the outset, S. 4940 requires an agency to carefully tie any ban to a specific unit of federal land where the decline of a wildlife population is the result of lead use by hunters and anglers on that unit. In other words, agencies are allowed to ban lead use where the science shows a direct harm from such use.
The bill also requires federal agencies to ensure any lead ban is consistent with existing state law, regulation and that a state’s fish and wildlife agency has approved the lead ban where the unit of federal land is located. This will ensure that federal agencies are working in concert with state agencies, the traditional managers of many fish and wildlife species that are hunted and fished on public lands.
“Senator Daines clearly recognizes that you can’t have effective fish and wildlife management on federal lands without relevant science and federal-state cooperation in the decision-making process,” said Todd Adkins, vice president of government affairs for the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “We applaud his commitment to sportsmen and women and look forward to helping S. 4940 across the finish line.”
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.