Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke was confirmed yesterday. Today he rode in to work on a horse and in one of his first acts got rid of the lead ammo and fishing tackle ban. That ban, Directive No. 219, was the work of former Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe who signed it on the last full day of the Obama Administration.
Sec. Zinke, a former Navy SEAL, obviously knows to have to get things done.
Safari Club International was one of nearly twenty pro-hunting organizations invited to meet with Secretary Ryan Zinke today, on his first day at work as Secretary of the Interior. We applaud Secretary Zinke for reversing Dan Ashe’s last minute Director’s Order that directed the phase-out of traditional lead-based ammunition and fishing tackle use on all 81 million acres of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lands and waters by 2022. Former FWS Director Ashe issued Director’s Order 219 on the last day of the Obama Administration, imposing severe ammunition restrictions without input from the states, the public, and ammunition and tackle manufacturers.
Ashe’s Director’s Order failed to take into account the harm that eliminating lead-based ammunition could cause to wildlife conservation and habitat management programs supported by the sales of firearms and ammunition. It ignored the question of whether adequate alternate ammunition types would be available to substitute for lead-based ammunition. The former Director’s measures would have seriously undermined hunting and the important role it plays in wildlife conservation. In issuing Director’s Order 219, Ashe sought to impose Obama Administration prejudices into FWS management of lands for the next five years and beyond.
Today, Secretary Zinke returned science and reason to federal decision-making about ammunition use. By reversing Director’s Order 219, the Secretary has prevented the harm the former administration’s hasty and thoughtless attack would have caused the hunting community.
The NRA was represented at this event by NRA-ILA Director Chris Coxe who released this statement:
The National Rifle Association applauds Secretary Zinke’s decision to withdraw Director’s Order No. 219, a decree imposed on the final day of the Obama presidency to ban the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle on national wildlife refuges. Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, attended the official signing of Secretarial Order 3347.
“This was a reckless, unilateral overreach that would have devastated the sportsmen’s community,” said Cox. “The Obama administration failed to consult with state fish and wildlife agencies or national angling and hunting organizations in issuing this order. This was not a decision based on sound scientific evidence — it was a last second attack on traditional ammunition and our hunting heritage.”
Issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on January 19, 2017, Director’s Order No. 219 bans the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle on lands, waters, and facilities managed by the Service. Today’s action demonstrates Secretary Zinke’s commitment to protecting our country’s treasured outdoor legacy.
“The fact is that traditional ammunition does not pose a significant population-level risk for wildlife. On behalf of the five million members of the NRA and tens of millions of American sportsmen, we thank Secretary Zinke for eliminating this arbitrary attack on our hunting heritage,” Cox concluded.