The War On Hunting by Tom Reynolds
Biden's war on hunting continues.
The Biden administration is under fire for regulatory proposals that critics have warned could serve as a backdoor attack on hunting and could lead to more aggressive measures targeting hunting. According to experts and hunting industry officials, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is expected to publish draft hunting guidelines that would substantially curb the type of equipment sportsmen are allowed to use on federal refuge properties. The guidelines are, among other provisions, expected to expand the refuge area where lead ammunition and fishing tackle will be banned.
The background on this is from Fox News*:
A Trump administration rule expanded hunting and fishing on 2.3 million acres across 147 wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries.
In 2021, (during the Biden administration) The Center for Biological Diversity** sued the federal government over that rule. Instead of defending the rule, the Biden administration asked the court to delay proceedings in the case. In November 2022, Biden’s administration agreed to a settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity that stipulated the government would take wide ranging steps to protect wildlife "harmed by expanded hunting and fishing" on national wildlife refuges. Under the settlement, the FWS promised to expand lead ammunition prohibitions across various refuges beginning in 2026.
The Biden administration has since announced in federal filings its intention to prohibit recreational shooting on approximately 94,900 acres of lands managed by the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service.
"This could extend beyond just the National Wildlife Refuge System under Fish and Wildlife Service," said Gabriella Hoffman, a senior fellow at the Independent Women's Forum's Center for Energy and Conservation. "I worry it could extend to the Bureau of Land Management,"she told Fox News Digital. "Once they're given a taste of bans, they're going to try to pursue it elsewhere because, again, they view hunters as an obstacle, even though hunters are largely the primary drivers of conservation."
Is Hoffman saying that the ban is only the unspoken first step on a wider ban on hunting and another step to neuter the 2nd Amendment? Nah. Joe Biden would never do something like that.
Not to be outdone, New York State strikes again…
While attention was on the NY State budget, a lead hunting ammo ban bill passed the NYS Assembly (Bill A2084-A). It prohibits the use of lead ammunition in the taking of wildlife on state-owned land and on land contributing surface water to the New York city water supply.
There is a companion bill in the NYS Senate, S04976-A. If passed, these bills will take effect January 1, 2025. The bills state:
Wildlife shall not be taken with the use of lead ammunition on:
wildlife management areas, state forests, forest preserves, state parks or any other state-owned land that is open for hunting;
and not on
the land area contributing surface water to the New York city water supply.
"…lead ammunition" shall mean any ammunition that contains one or more percent of lead by weight.
Not that hunters should distrust NY City politicians trying to rule the world from Albany but…what areas contribute surface water to the New York city water supply?
Per the NY Department of Environmental Conservation:
The NYC watershed is located in Southeastern New York State. Most of the water is provided by precipitation (rain and snow) that falls within the watershed, flows to nearby streams, then is collected within the reservoirs. All of the 19 reservoirs and their major tributaries within the NYC Watershed Program are monitored continuously
Per the NY City Environmental Protection web page:
The watersheds of the three systems cover an area of almost 2,000 square miles, approximately the size of the State of Delaware.
Located in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties, the Croton system has 12 reservoirs and 3 controlled lakes.
The Catskill system includes 2 reservoirs…The Catskill watershed is located in parts of Greene, Ulster and Schoharie Counties
The Delaware system, in parts of Delaware, Ulster and Sullivan Counties…includes 4 reservoirs.
Left unmentioned in these descriptions is that several reservoirs are within the Hudson River Basin. So, does the Hudson River contribute surface water to the New York City water supply? If it technically doesn’t now, will there be a redefinition at a later date to include the Hudson River Basin?
And the next step will be: if it is good for NY City, why shouldn’t all municipal water systems and their tributaries also be ‘protected’ from lead ammunition?
The bills’ advocates will say that they do not ban hunting, only hunting with lead ammunition. Ever noticed how much non-lead ammo is on your local gun store? Guess what this will do to the price of non-lead ammunition?
Write or call your State Senator and tell him / her how much you oppose S0496A.
**The Center for Biological Diversity is an influential environmental group with assets exceeding $40 million that advocates for stringent federal wildlife protections.