Letter to Martha Williams, Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service - Kennedy, Daines urge Biden administration against banning lead ammo and tackle on public lands


Dear Director Williams,

Thank you for your continued advocacy for sportsmen access and your decision to
expand hunting and fishing opportunities on over two million acres last August. We understand
that calls on the Administration to phase-out the use of lead ammo and tackle or otherwise
reduce sportsmen access to our National Wildlife Refuges have resurfaced following the
announcement that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has entered into settlement
negotiations with Center for Biological Diversity regarding a lawsuit on a previous decision to
expand access on wildlife refuges.

As you know, hunting and fishing activities play an integral role in the conservation and
management of wildlife and aquatic species. The National Wildlife Refuge Improvement Act of
1977 sought to leverage this conservation tool by ensuring hunting, fishing, and trapping would
occur on any wildlife refuge where compatible. Passage of this law has led to the expansion of
sportsmen opportunities across the country, including the expansion last August and the
expansion currently under litigation.

Policies or actions that reduce or limit sportsmen activities necessarily implicate wildlife
conservation programs by affecting state agencies' revenue. Such policies or actions also
handcuff wildlife managers by removing a critical conservation tool while needlessly alienating
one of our original conservationists, sportsmen. Phasing-out lead ammo and tackle on wildlife
refuges would disproportionately affect lower-income households and those that depend on
hunting and fishing for their subsistence as lead alternatives are often more expensive. The
impact of such a policy would be devastating to the sportsmen heritage in our states.

We are encouraged that a sportswoman with first-hand knowledge of the intersection
between federal policies and state wildlife conservation is leading USFWS in these discussions
and encourage you to remain steadfast in defending sportsmen access. We stand ready to partner
with you to continue expanding opportunities for sportsmen and sportswomen across the