California, Out In Front on the Environment, As Usual — Please Lend Your Voice!

CALIFORNIA FIGHTS FOR WILDLIFE -- and you can help!

Here’s the chronology of events:

When California's turkey season opens in March, hunters will be required to use nontoxic bullets. (Dave Doe/Flickr Creative Commons)

In 2013, the CA legislature passed a law phasing in a ban of lead ammunition for all hunting -- rifle, shotgun, fishing weights, anything made of lead -- that covered the entire state. That means private land and public land, including land under federal jurisdiction. Pushback from gun advocates slowed implementation but it’s still in the works, with full effect intended to arrive in 2019.

At the very end of his term, having failed to get Congress to enact this no-brainer protection for birds, animals and humans who are exposed to lead poisoning from hunters’ ammunition, President Obama issued an order banning its use on federal wildlife refuges and any other lands where the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regulates hunting and fishing.

The Trump administration’s pick for Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, on his first working day, reversed the order.

Female California Condor with her newly hatched chick. Photo: Joseph Brandt/USFWS

California, always a leader -- if not THE leader -- in American environmental legislation, will have to fight for the right to protect its own wildlife and citizens from the detrimental effects of lead ammunition. The Trump administration will, at the very least, claim that the federal government has sole jurisdiction over lands where the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regulates hunting and fishing. What’s more, it may try to make the case that California can’t have its own ban for the rest of the state because the federal government didn’t give it permission.

Bottom line, California needs to fight back. And you can help. Even if your state and local legislators are safe and sane, they need to know you have their back. And the California Fish and Game Commission needs to know you feel strongly about keeping the ban in place.

Bald Eagle suffering from Lead Toxicosis

Please let Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris hear your voice. Let your local Congressperson and your state Senate and Assembly members know that you respect hunters’ right to pursue their hobby but want them to do so without using lead -- the substance that goes on killing even after the hunt is over.

Here are some links:

To learn more about lead ammunition, current and proposed legislation, and why alternatives exist that work for both hunters and the environment, click here: 

Send your comments to:

California State Fish and Game Commission: f[email protected] (if you only send one email, make this the one)

Dianne Feinstein: http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-me?

Kamala Harris: https://www.harris.senate.gov/content/contact-senator

Find your Congressperson here: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/CA

Find your State Senator here: http://senate.ca.gov/senators

Find your State Assemblyperson here: http://assembly.ca.gov/assemblymembers

In your own words, the simpler the better, tell them you are a firm supporter of a ban on poisonous lead ammunition. Tell them you respect hunters but don’t believe a ban on lead ammunition means and End to Hunting As We Know It. They will listen. And California will lead the way.