Threats to Traditional Ammunition

Last year, the Center for Biological Diversity launched a two-part attack against the use of traditional ammunition on National Wildlife Refuges: it submitted a petition requesting that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service phase out lead ammo on all refuges, and it challenged the 2020 Service rule which expanded hunting and fishing access on refuges around the country. SCI sought to intervene in the lawsuit, but the court denied that motion and dismissed the case based on a settlement between the Center and the Service. As part of the settlement, the Service responded to the Center’s petition for rulemaking in early June 2023. The Service denied the petition—but it did not decline to consider a phase-out of lead ammo. It simply declined to adopt a national rule, preferring to address lead ammo on a state-by-state or refuge-by-refuge basis. SCI expects that the Service will soon announce additional phase-outs of lead ammo on National Wildlife Refuges.