Ca Commission Denies Proposal to Expand Lead Ban
California –-(AmmoLand.com)- At their August 6th meeting, the California Fish and Game Commission voted 4-1 not to expand the ban on the use of lead ammunition to the taking of small and migratory upland game in the range of the California condor.
The California Outdoor Heritage Alliance (COHA) joined the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), California Rifle and Pistol Association and the NRA in testifying against the proposed expansion at the hearing, noting that the best available science simply does not warrant such a move.
The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) also recommended against an expansion of the lead ban. The Commission’s negative vote on the expansion proposal maintains the ability of hunters to use traditional lead ammunition for small and upland game in the range of the condor.
Currently, non-toxic loads are required for the hunting of big game within the range of the condor pursuant to the passage of AB 821 in 2007 and the promulgation of detailed Commission regulations which followed the passage of the measure. DFG was required to offer the expansion of the ban to small and upland game as an “alternative” within the 2009 season regulatory package, and the Commission had to consider the alternative, pursuant to the recent settlement of a long-standing lawsuit filed by several environmental organizations.
For the past several months, COHA has been closely monitoring the DFG analysis of this possible regulation change and working with DFG and our partners to ensure that the final regulation adopted by the Commission was based purely on science, and not the emotions surrounding the general lead bullet debate.
In their testimony, COHA noted that – in contrast to big game – the carcasses of small and upland game are removed from the field in their entirety, leaving no gut piles or other body parts for condors to feed upon.
Further, COHA noted that, according to DFG records, there is no single documented incident of a condor feeding on small or upland game. Finally, COHA pointed out that Commission adoption of a ban on lead ammunition for the hunting of small and upland game was not required in the state legislation (AB 821) that mandated the use of non-toxic loads for big game, nor was it required by the recent lawsuit settlement.
When the original lead ban legislation, AB 2123, was first being considered in the California State Legislature in 2006, COHA’s initial opposition convinced the bill’s author, Assembly Member Pedro Nava, to exclude small and upland game from the bill. A short time later, COHA played a key role in killing AB 2123 in committee.
The California Outdoor Heritage Alliance is a 501(c) 4 non-profit political advocacy organization dedicated solely to the promotion of wildlife and the protection of our hunting heritage. COHA professional staff is active at the California State Legislature, Congress, State Fish and Game Commission, State and Federal resource agencies and all other political arenas where decisions are made which may impact wildlife management, habitat conservation, wildlife program funding, hunting access and opportunity, and your ability to purchase and possess sporting arms and munitions. COHA currently represents the political interests of nearly every major wildlife conservation organization active in California – including California Waterfowl, National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, California Deer Association, California Houndsmen for Conservation, Mule Deer Foundation, California Bowmen Hunters, Foundation for North American Wild Sheep, numerous hunting clubs and other outdoor interests. COHA was created in early 2006 by the California Waterfowl Association.