The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Group’s Anti-Hunting Lawsuit

By Larry Keane

shotgun barrel iStock-1264703976
The new anti-hunting lawsuit is more about banning guns than protecting animals. IMG iStock-1264703976

U.S.A. -( The anti-hunting Center for Biological Diversity is once again trying to eliminate hunting on public lands within National Wildlife Refuges under the guise of “protecting endangered wildlife.”

The activist organization’s latest lawsuit seeks to kill hunting activities on more than 2.3 million acres of public lands overseen by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) even though USFWS’s own website promotes hunting as a wildlife management tool. No matter for the Center for Biologic Diversity. For them, it’s eliminate hunting or bust.

The Good

The Center for Biological Diversity’s newest challenge is a whiplash attempt to curtail public hunting opportunities on federal lands. The Center for Biologic Diversity is attempting to roll back progress of expanding hunting opportunities that were expanded under the administrations of both Democratic President Joe Biden and former Republican President Donald Trump.

In 2020, former Secretary of the Department of the Interior David Bernhardt announced the single-largest expansion of hunting on public lands in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services history. Praising the expansion, Sec. Bernhardt said, “The Trump Administration has now made an additional 2.3 million acres accessible to new hunting and fishing opportunities. We continue to take significant actions to further conservation initiatives and support sportsmen and women who are America’s true conservationists.”

The announcement meant more than 850 hunting and fishing opportunities across more than 2.3 million acres at 147 national wildlife refuges for the American public.

Hunting isn’t a partisan activity and the Biden administration followed up four months ago with their own announcement allowing public hunting opportunities on another 2.1 million acres, including on seven refuges that did not previously allow it. President Biden’s Interior Secretary Deb Haaland added, “Increasing access to outdoor recreation opportunities is essential to advancing the Administration’s commitment to the conservation stewardship of our public lands.”

Coupled together, the bipartisan expansions of public hunting opportunities have come at a time when record numbers of Americans are taking up or returning to hunting traditions.

The Bad

The newest lawsuit isn’t the Center for Biological Diversity’s first backdoor attack on public hunting. They’ve made several previous attempts, through both lawsuits and petitioning for federal rules to restrict hunting. One tried to restrict transporting harvested game across state lines. If a visiting hunter wanted to take a deer on public land in a national refuge but would instantly become a criminal for bringing it home, they’re unlikely to go hunting in the first place.

This lawsuit, filed in a Montana federal district court, alleges hunters using traditional lead-based ammunition could harm wildlife on the public lands even if they aren’t directly shot with it.

“The Fish and Wildlife Service is shrugging off the many risks that sport hunting and fishing pose to endangered animals, particularly from lead ammunition and tackle,” the Center for Biological Diversity suit argues. “We’re going to court to ensure that our nation’s wildlife refuges actually provide refuge…”

The irony and absurdity of CBD’s lawsuit weren’t lost on Field & Stream magazine, which noted, “The lawsuit ignores the long-standing contributions of hunters and anglers to conservation.” They continued by highlighting the backwardness of the challenge, saying the lawsuit is, “taking issue with hunting and fishing altogether, despite the fact that sportsmen helped pioneer the national wildlife refuge system in the first place and contribute millions of dollars towards their preservation each year.”

The Ugly

If the Center for Biological Diversity is successful in its attempts to eliminate the largest opportunity for Americans to hunt on public lands, they would be biting the hand that feeds wildlife conservation.

Firearm and ammunition manufacturers have contributed more than $14 billion since 1937 to conservation through the Pittman-Robertson excise tax, supported by hunting and recreational shooting purchases. This means that as more hunters enjoy hunting on National Wildlife Refuges and other public lands, more money is steered toward conserving those lands, wildlife management, and conservation efforts.

USFWS keeps it simple on their own website, noting, “As practiced on refuges, hunting does not pose a threat to the wildlife populations – and in some instances, it is necessary for sound wildlife management.”

Hunters are America’s original conservationists and if the Center for Biological Diversity was truly about supporting conservation and wildlife management, they’d support expanded public hunting opportunities on national refuges as well. Their track record, however, shows they aren’t really about conservation and healthy wildlife populations – they’re about eliminating hunting.

About The National Shooting Sports Foundation

NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations, and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit

National Shooting Sports Foundation

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Biological diversity ? Just another group of idiots who wants thier 15 minutes I guess . We need to cancel diversity and inclusion as they serve no real purpose in the real world


the only way to have honesty in government is allow guns in ALL meetings and all are open to public


Maybe the CBD group stands for, “Communist Biological Deviants.” Anything that stands for disarming the American people for the purpose of forceing the people into slavery under the communists. Slaves don’t need weapons to defend themselves, they will have the communist government defending them, right?


Unfortunately most of the conservation funds come from recreational shooters who are not hunters. Clearly we’d have basis to repeal these taxes as they would be entirely decoupled from the use – but that would take a fight. How often do you hear of government giving up a tax?


As I enjoy motorcycle off roading, as well as hunting and plinking (plenty of ranges on public land) I have no problem with this tax.


in florida a temporary tax(toll) was posted on a road to replace platter type opening bridge , to build a high arch bridge so opening and closing would be unnecessary , costs were paid off in mid 70s in 2018 toll was expanded to whole road to airport ,not just the bridge. express way authority is funded from this money and they piss it away on stupid shit to no end. positions on board started as volunteers,like red cross, now they have voted themselves six figure reimbursements for their time ,


Creeping socialism. When government has control of all your resources they will decide which you get and those you do not receive, all the while living lives of luxury at our expense.
Kick the lot of these tyrants out and start over.


Hunting is right of passage / getting elected is not closing of taxpayer funded lands is inexcusable