Environmentalists are lobbying, again, the Environmental Protection Agency to take action against hunters for using lead bullets. The major "concern" among big government environmentalists is that eagles and other kinds of birds will ingest miniscule amounts of lead put into the environment after a bullet explodes and is fragmented inside an animal. If you're a hunter, you understand the the animal carcus is taken for use/consumption while the rest is naturally left in the environment. Environmentalists argue the lead left in the remaining parts eaten by birds, are poisoning them.
The Center for Biological Diversity, which claims 220,000 members, has sent a petition to the Environmental Protection Agency on behalf of nearly 100 groups in 35 states asking the agency to regulate lead right out of ammunition. It's the second time the group has attempted to get the EPA to take up the cause, and the group is currently suing the federal agency for rejecting the previous bid.
Lead has been used in bullets for 75 years. Steel shot is already required water fowl hunting to prevent large amounts of lead from getting into the water supply. The use of lead bullets is actually a local issue, yet environmentalists are petitioning the EPA for control at the federal level.
Kathy Sullivan, condor program coordinator for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, said the agency opposes the petition because lead ammunition is something states should regulate. She noted that a voluntary Game and Fish program offers coupons for free non-lead ammunition to hunters with tags for big game in condor territory and educates about the importance of removing gut piles when hunters use lead ammunition.
Over the past four years, she said, between 80 percent and 90 percent of hunters have reported using non-lead ammunition while 60 percent of those who used lead ammunition said they took steps such as removing gut piles to reduce the risk.
Like most environmental groups, The Center for Biological Diversity is full of leftist, "green" environmentalists with agendas counter helping the environment. Hunters, not environmetalists, have done the most to keep the environment clean for decades.
For more than a century, sportsmen have stood at the forefront of the conservation movement in North America. Billions of dollars paid by hunters and anglers for license fees and excise taxes on sporting goods have conserved tens of millions of acres of wildlife habitat, and these revenues remain the primary funding source for state conservation agencies across the United States. Sportsmen also have been the driving force behind critical national and state conservation legislation; have founded and generously contribute to nonprofit conservation organizations; and directly own, lease, and manage land themselves for wildlife. Their conservation leadership has not only helped to ensure a bright future for waterfowl and other game, but has also benefited a host of other wildlifeincluding several threatened and endangered speciesthat share the same habitats.
A recent nationwide telephone poll conducted by Ducks Unlimited confirmed that, compared with the general public, hunters as a group are significantly more committed to conserving wildlife habitat. The survey found that hunters were more than three times as likely as nonhunters to participate in organized wildlife conservation efforts. Fifty-one percent of hunters said they belonged or contributed to conservation organizations, compared with only 15 percent of nonhunters.
Naturally, Hunters are pushing back against the environmentalists and the Center for Biological Diversity in their push to ban lead bullets.
Hunting groups scoff at the Center's claims that lead left in the carcasses of animals they shoot but don't collect harms the food chain and that spent casings can contaminate groundwater. They say the group has long sought to curb their rights to hunt and own firearms.
“They are like a woodpecker without any wood. They just keep pecking away,” Lawrence Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation told FoxNews.com. “It’s clear that their motivation is to end hunting in the United States.”
The good news about the push, the EPA isn't on the side of the "environmentalists" just yet:
The environmental group claims the EPA has jurisdiction over bullets through the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act. But an EPA spokesman told FoxNews.com the agency denied the previous petition because the agency does not share the opinion it has legal authority over bullets and shotgun pellets.
Keane, who noted that the environmental group's original petition did not exempt police officers or military personnel from using lead bullets, applauded the EPA for understanding its role.
For the real explanation about why "environmentalists" are attacking hunters, I'll send you to Ed Morrissey:
They’re not interested in protecting the environment from lead; they want to use the EPA to make it much more difficult and expensive for gun owners to buy ammunition by having the agency seize the authority to regulate a key component of firearms.
To Ed's point, thousands of birds, including eagles, are killed every day by "green" windmills. Where is the Center for Biological diversity on that. Also, environmentalists are not conservationists, they are big government preservationists interested in control, not saving the environment. If they really were conservationists, things like this wouldn't be happening.
|Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is also the author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up.
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