Bill Introduced to Ban Lead Shot on State Wildlife Areas

Bill Introduced to Ban Lead Shot on State Wildlife Areas
Once again animal rights minority groups including HSUS, disregard science to promote their own twisted agenda – AmmoLand.com

California Outdoor Heritage Alliance
California Outdoor Heritage Alliance

Sacramento, CA –-(AmmoLand.com)- Assembly Member Pedro Nava (D-Santa Barbara) has introduced AB 2223, legislation which would prohibit the use of lead shot on state Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) operated by the Department of Fish and Game (DFG). Violators of the bill's provisions would be subject to a $500 fine on the first offense.

The bill would not only undermine the Constitutional authority of the California Fish and Game Commission–the regulatory body tasked with determining the precise methods of take for hunting and the specific public use regulations for each WMA–but also remove any meaningful scientific review and analysis of the effects of lead shot by providing an exemption from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

In doing so, the measure ensures that politics, rather than sound science, dictates the state's hunting regulations and management of wildlife.

According to proponents, the bill is intended to reduce alleged lead shot-induced mortality to mourning doves (the most populous game bird in North America) as well as to raptors that feed on doves and other small game. Yet, only a portion of the WMAs across the state provide significant dove hunting opportunity, and fields that are heavily hunted for dove are typically disked on an annual basis by DFG so as to make most lead pellets unavailable to wildlife.

In addition, raptor populations on WMA's remain at very high levels, while there has reportedly been no documented incidents of raptors succumbing to lead shot poisoning.

“I've hunted two dozen WMAs across the state for just about every upland game bird and small game species, and the one thing you notice is that each area is unique in terms of species, topography, management practices and degree of hunter pressure,” stated Mark Hennelly, Vice President of COHA.

“AB 2223 wrongly mandates a ‘one-size fits all' approach without a single WMA-specific study demonstrating significant impacts from the ongoing use of lead shot on wildlife.”

“These issues should be decided by the state's wildlife management professionals on a case by case basis,” said Evan Heusinkveld, U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance (USSA) director of state services. “Science, not politics or public opinion, should be the basis for these decisions.”

AB 2223 is sponsored by the Audubon Society, Defenders of Wildlife and Humane Society of the United States. The first hearing will likely be in the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee in early April. For the Committee's contact information to voice opposition to the bill, click here..

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