New Interior Secretary Pleases Sportsmen on His 1st Day with Ammo Order

(Quin Hillyer, Liberty Headlines) Usually the expression “get the lead out” involves speeding something up by lightening one’s load – but in the case of new federal Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, his speediest initial action involved putting the lead back in.

Ryan Zinke photo

Photo by Gage Skidmore (CC)

Back in ammunition, that is. To great applause from congressmen representing states in the interior West, Zinke on Thursday – his very first day in office – signed an order reversing a last-minute Obama administration regulation that would have banned the use of lead ammunition or fishing tackle on federal lands.

The Obama order – designed to protect animals from poisoning via lead leaching into wildlife habitat – had enraged sportsmen, who noted that most ammunition contains lead and that lead-free bullets can be significantly more costly. Sportsmen and gun groups also say there is little scientific evidence that such small amounts of lead enter the eco-systems in quantities large enough to create significant harm.

Many environmentalists (naturally) beg to differ, and they cite their own statistics – as well as stories such as the one that ran in a Washington State TV newscast Thursday about a bald eagle that died from lead poisoning, presumably contracted by eating carcasses of animals killed with lead ammunition. The same story also said that humans, too, get lead poisoning the same way: “Children can also test positive for elevated lead levels in their blood when they eat meat from animals killed with lead ammunition.”

Public opinion in affected states seems to run heavily in favor of the sportsmen’s position, though, judging from the overwhelming reaction by elected officials who presumably reflect the majority will of their constituents.

The Congressional Western Caucus, for example released a statement that can only be described as exuberant, praising Zinke for reversing the order and thus allowing lead use to continue. Eight caucus members, including chairman Paul Gosar of Arizona and representatives from Utah, Texas, Missouri, California, Colorado and even Georgia joined the release – and Wyoming’s freshman representative Liz Cheney, daughter of the former vice president, was among those who issued their own press statements of approval.

“Sportsmen and fishermen are some of our countries greatest conservationists,” said Congressman Jason Smith of Missouri.This order [the one from Obama’s team, now reversed] only served to hinder them from participating in the recreational use of federal lands they’ve enjoyed for decades.”

The new directive that allows lead will actually be good for wildlife sustainability, added Chairman Gosar, because the efforts of sportsmen “help maintain healthy population levels of wildlife.”

Writing on Feb. 17 in The Hill newspaper in Washington, D.C, however, one Dr. Nathan Donley anticipated Secretary Zinke’s directive with consternation.

“Every year in the United States, over 4,000 tons of lead are shot into the environment by hunting, resulting in the poisoning deaths of an estimated 20 million birds and other animals,” wrote Donley, a senior scientist in the Center for Biological Diversity’s Environmental Health Program.

Besides, Donley said, alternative ammunition is not too great a burden: “Waterfowl hunters nationwide have successfully used lead-free ammunition for decades ever since lead shot was phased out in 1991. In 2015 alone over 1 million hunters harvested over 13 million waterfowl with non-toxic ammunition. And hunters have been successfully using copper rounds across large stretches of California since non-lead hunting ammunition requirements went into effect in 14 state counties seven years ago.”

Yet numerous organizations that try to strike constructive balance between environmental needs and sportsmen’s privileges, while dedicating themselves to species conservation, think those warnings are overblown. Among the groups that supported Secretary Zinke’s re-leading order were Ducks Unlimited and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

Zinke’s order itself did not discuss the science, pro or con, but focused instead on the procedures used by the Obama administration to promulgate its anti-lead order the day before Obama left office: “After reviewing the order and the process by which it was promulgated, I have determined that the order is not mandated by any existing statutory or regulatory requirement and was issued without significant communication, consultation or coordination with affected stakeholders.”

At the event, Reuters reported that Zinke also offered another reason why the earlier order burdening sportsmen was a bad idea. He said that fishing, hunting, and other outdoor recreation activities “generate thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity.”

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  • cabowabo78727

    Another POS order by a POSPOTUS! Good Riddance YObama! Nobody is missing you, whatsoever!

  • Wendy Lovell

    the use of copper ammunition can cause poisoning. so lets all use spent uranium. that is obviously safer.

    • wandamurline

      Yeah, tell that to Japan who is still cleaning up the reactors after the tsunami.

  • H. Rubottom

    if the bullets were pure lead and were not jacketed, the figure of 4,000 tons would amount to 363,636,363.63 .30 cal bullets per year. Since most bullets are clad in copper, the actual figure, if the 4,000 has any meaning at all, would be much higher. By some estimates, about 500 million rounds a year were fired in the Vietnam war by comparison.

  • wandamurline

    Obama was just doing something else to try to get us to give up our guns.

  • Mark Johnson

    Now they just need to return the billions of rounds of ammo the various govt. agencies have pilfered away in the last eight years. Put it back on the market where the citizens can buy it. It should drop the price of ammo several orders of magnitude. There is no sane reason the Irs, and Soc Sec dept needs millions of rounds of ammo. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dept of Education has several hundred thousand rounds. Give it back to the people where it belongs !

    • gardennut1

      The people will never see that ammo unless it is shot in them. Obama probably sent it to his muslim friends. No one will ever know for sure but you can bet it wasn’t anywhere to help us.

      • FAITH47

        OBAMA THE ALIBABA, GAVE ALL THE AMMO TO

      • Nevadavoter1

        It is all stored for when Obama and his kind need it!

        • James McEntire

          I think Obama should “get all he deserves “. Every last round of it!

        • kikorikid

          OK, The “Left” has been aggressively pushing towards a Maoist type “Cultural Revolution”(1968) wherein about a million teenagers, clutching Little Red Books, managed to murder about 20-25 million of their Fellow Chinese.
          The Kids won. I will not say “It can’t happen here”, but I will say that the outcome of any endeavor like it will have a reverse decision.
          Nev, having it stored is, no doubt, a good idea whomever you are. Using it is the critical issue. If “Obama and his kind” ever try to use any of that ammo on US Citizens. Armed American Citizens will kill them.

      • I bet Obama is storing it for his imported Muslim army of refugees so they can attack the USA when he is ready

      • Nicodemus

        For decades, the government has WASTED millions of dollars chopping up antique rifles, burying ammo in the sand, dumping spools of copper wire in the ocean, etc. As part of Trump’s plan to get the country out of dept, I hope he starts having online auctions for guns, ammo, etc. Heck, there are saddles, tents and oil lamps in government warehouses from WW1! In fact, I think I’ll have to open a Twitter account just to tweet him the idea…

    • carpkiller

      Thats a real thorn in my side too.i would like to see all those firearm permits and training slips for those gov employees.

    • Nevadavoter1

      These bullets were bought to meet an overall demand by FEMA and Homeland security when the SHTF and the Feds try and take over the country with the military and other agencies. It would not be politically correct if Homeland Security and other agencies went out and bought millions of rounds so they had the Dept of Education and Dept of Highways buy it and store it for when Obama felt he might need it!

      • kikorikid

        Every “Alphabet” agency-ATF, IRS, USPS, BLM, et al ad nausium (sp) was
        “Up-Armored” under Obama. The Post Office got thousands of M-16’s and M4’s
        and millions of rounds? The Feds bought a hundred million rounds of .40, Hollow Point??? Outlawed under the Geneva Convention, to shoot us.

  • David Carpenter

    Well I have not researched this extensively, but most of the wildlife that I have witnessed to die of lead poisoning have been the target of said lead bullet.

    • James Rothwell

      well wouldn’t be great to research it—just in case the researchers are right

      • kikorikid

        Into the early seventies if a fisherman brought in a (Xiphius Gladius) they were required to take it first to a Lead check station. They found Lead in every Broadbill in front of them. They, eventually, found the same Lead in Broadbill in the Med as well.
        Swordfish are All-Ocean, Apex Predators. A fair number of Sharks as well.
        It is the “Food Chain” whereby Lead is accumulated in the predator species.
        If one could go back a thousand years bring in a 200 lbs Swordfish, Lead-Core sample it, you would have the same numbers as a core from a 200 lbs BBill today.
        Turns out, the key is frequency. Do not eat Swordfish more than one meal a week and everything is cool. Oh, Yes, Lead Shot.
        “Water-Fowlers” have taken arduous steps to avoid harm but also to avoid further stigma. It’s great that these Laws were recinded.’

  • Jeff Z

    We have garbage plastic tank radiators in cars now too because some libtard was worried about the lead in solder on the tanks. Those who drink from their cars radiators probably deserve it.

  • Jim

    Dems will do anything to make it harder on lawful gun owners.

    • James Rothwell

      no just trying to have some background checks for mentally unfit or terrorist persons from using a gun—–saving one life would make all the difference—but no one will get this unless it happens to someone close to you —no one wants to take away your right to hunt and to protect you and your love ones

      • Ferd321

        Of course, the question is “unfit” according to who? Some nameless paper pushing doctor or, worse yet, a bureaucrat?

      • We could save more lives by building the wall at the border, rounding up the Muslim terrorist that odumba let In as refugees and deporting them, and not allow Muslims from certain countries, in to our country. But only a fool believes that liberal communist Democrats don’t want to take our guns, and they have said so.

      • Jim

        We do have background checks to buy a gun. We just don’t do anything to those who try to buy guns who are not allowed to have a gun. We need to prosecute anyone who uses a gun in a crime and have stiff penalties, but if you do that people cry racism.

  • Kenneth Jones

    I guess they didn’t think about the damage that a steel bullet can do to a rifled gun barrel, did they?

    • Good way to by pass Congress on gun control, use steel bullets

    • Nicodemus

      Copper works….but, of course, it’s more expensive than lead…and loses velocity faster as it weighs less…imparting less kinetic energy to the target…and it doesn’t mushroom as well. I’m guess it shortens your barrel life as well…. I’m surprised O’Vomit didn’t have DHS order it’s ammo with solid GOLD bullets…they’d have worked great and been very environmentally friendly…. after all, who cares about the cost….money grows on trees when you just have the Fed print more of it….

  • Gym

    The looney left obama/soros owned media never mentioned, NOT ONCE, that obama had shut down lead mining here at home. But look! PRESIDENT Trump has a pen and a phone also.

    • Nicodemus

      Obama’s EPA Gestapo shut down the last lead smelter about 2 years ago. I went out and bought a spare car battery and bags of range lead, knowing the price would go up once the only sources were India and China. Coal is up and running again….I’m sure it won’t be long before lead smelters are back in business….it’s not exactly high tech….hopefully the equipment hasn’t rusted away or been melted down….

  • I have eaten wildlife killed with lead bullets. I know because I shot them.I have eaten trout, salmon, steel head, perch, white fish and catfish from streams around the state. The only problem I have had with lead is what has collected in my 80 year old butt.

    • Nicodemus

      Lead is a naturally occurring element….it comes out of the ground! How is putting it back really hurting anything? Idiots…..libertards….Even worse when they INVENT an environmental issue like “Global Warming” just to steal millions of taxpayer dollars!

      • Nicodemus,
        My grandfather had a lead mine and my dad worked it for a year. As a little boy, I spent many days helping my dad in the mine. I have never been affected by lead. North Idaho had huge lead and silver mines. Some are still are working mines. I have not read anything about lead killing people. My dad worked in a couple of those northern Idaho mines in the late 1920 and into the 1930’s. He died at age 85. Lead was not the reason for his departure. Tgis is more liberal and environmental propaganda BS.

  • james cavalieri

    Nothing like watching a cage match between trump and obama!! Especially when I can’t stand either one!! Great entertainment!!!

    • remember alamo

      Choose your side.

      • james cavalieri

        I always root for the NE PATS!!!!

        • remember alamo

          Who? Is that Canada, Mexico Africa, Russia, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Iran. You must be loyal to some country let me know which.

          • james cavalieri

            WHO??? Where are you from??? I was born in America, (America comes first), I’m an independent who believes both parties are corrupt, liars, self-serving, with their only priority being power and money!!!! I’m not loyal to immoral people!!! If you have any more questions>>>READ MY BOOK!!!!

          • remember alamo

            I was born in the Republic of Idaho, I now am a citizen of the Republic of Washington, I am along with many other brothers becoming the New Jerusalem. We’re you born in North America, Central America, South America.

          • james cavalieri

            I was born in the United States of America!!! The country with 50 states, located right between Canada and Mexico!!! Does that give you any clue?? If you are becoming the New Jerusalem, than your USA citizenship is only temporary!!!!!!

          • remember alamo

            Halleluja! It is impossible to be born in all 50 republics. If you check the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is divided into 50 Republics.

          • james cavalieri

            trump, bannon, miller, jones, and ventura are so proud of you!!!! SO INFORMED!!!!

          • jfmiii

            I sense a little butt burn here. Don’t worry a little alcohol taken orally will take care of that…..

          • james cavalieri

            You sound just like an immoral liberal!!! AKA>>>FAKE REPUBLICAN!!!!

  • GrumpyGrandpa

    Keeping the Promises! If only normal politicians would learn something.

  • M. D’Souza

    That’s a ‘well done’ applause for Sec. Zinke. Thanks Zinke! You spared us from using rubber bullets or catapults for hunting.
    What was the other reason for BHO’s final day executive order of banning lead billets? Was he sparing them for the droves of Muslim refugees he has let in as his future army to fight against us?

  • Been using lead bullets since we came to this continent, now its a problem? I can see why a liberal would think lead is deadly, they probably ate the paint off the walls when they were children.

  • needful

    who did obama use, bill nye,the science guy, his resident idiot!!

  • Leroy Mosley

    Hope you like lead poisoning .

  • R Beardall

    That is what happens when You use all Your resources on other countries that are either unwilling or unable to take care of themselves!We have not truly updated nor improved our infrastructure in the country since the late 40s with the exception of new home construction