WGF Wildlife Work Group Encourages Support of Rule Banning Lead Ammunition and Fishing Tackle in National Wildlife Refuges

WI Green Fire, July 20, 2022

Successful Hunt, Bruce Neeb

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has filed a proposed rule to ban lead hunting ammunition and fishing tackle on 19 National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) in the Federal Register. The proposed rule also includes provisions for a new study on the impacts of lead ammunition and fishing tackle on wildlife refuges. Lead poses a serious risk to wildlife, human, and ecological health, as stated in The Wildlife Society’s June 2022 lead position statement here.

WGF only engages on federal rules when they are directly tied to Wisconsin. Since this rule will directly affect the health and safety of our wildlife species and complements WGF’s Wildlife Work Group’s recent work to reduce lead ammunition and fishing tackle in Wisconsin, WGF supports this federal rule, and encourages members to submit their own personal comments to the Federal Register by August 8, 2022. The FWS has stated they are “seeking input from partners in methods to address the use of lead and commits to a transparent process in doing so.”

The FWS concluded in their proposed rule summary that “the best available science, analyzed as part of this proposed rulemaking, indicates that lead ammunition and tackle may have negative impacts on both wildlife and human health, and that those impacts are more acute for some species. Therefore, while the Service continues to evaluate the future of lead use in hunting and fishing on Service lands and waters, this rulemaking provides a measured approach in not adding to the use of lead on refuge lands. “

The link to the full proposed federal rule, and instructions on how to submit comments, can be found here.

Additional information to supplement your personal comments supporting a ban on lead ammunition and fishing tackle in our National Wildlife Refuges can be found in the links directly below.

  1. The Wildlife Society’s Lead Position Statement 
  2. The Center for Biological Diversity’s selected literature citations list
  3. A few articles about lead poisoning from a Wisconsin wildlife rehabilitator’s perspective
  4. Educational information from the organization Hunting With No Lead

Please contact our WGF leaders, Kerry Beheler at kerry.beheler@gmail.com, Tom Hauge at thauge.1953@gmail.com, or Ron Eckstein at roneckstein@charter.net for more information. Thank you for commenting on this important proposed lead rule!