Just one day before President Trump's inauguration, departing U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe—and the administration that appointed him—took one last shot at American hunters by issuing Director's Order No. 219, which directs the USFWS to expand the use of nontoxic ammunition and fishing tackle on USFWS lands, water and facilities—and for certain types of hunting and fishing regulated by the Service outside those areas—to the fullest extent by January 2022. In short: The plan seeks to effectively ban the use of all lead ammunition and fishing tackle on USFWS lands.
Signed on Jan. 19, 2017, the order came in decidedly late, just hours before Donald Trump's administration would take the reigns.
The Director's Order requires several initiatives to go into effect immediately. Regional and assistant USFWS directors must work with states, regional state fish and wildlife associations, other federal agencies and tribes over the next 24 months to expand current state, federal and tribal requirements. The USFWS must use “available information” on the negative impacts of lead ammunition or fishing tackle on “sensitive, vulnerable or Service trust resources” to justify “steps to expeditiously require” non-lead alternatives. The USFWS Assistant Director for Migratory Birds, in consultation with National Flyway Councils and the states, must “phase in a requirement for the use of nontoxic ammunition for the recreational hunting of mourning doves and other upland game birds.”
NRA, the NSSF and other hunting and conservation-based organizations have rallied against the order.