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Interior secretary reverses ban on lead fishing tackle

The department said the orders deliver on promises made to expand access to the nation’s public lands.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke (seated) is shown with National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich (center, right) and representatives of other outdoor groups.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke (seated) is shown with National Marine Manufacturers Association president Thom Dammrich (center, right) and representatives of other outdoor groups.

In his first day on the job, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke issued two orders Thursday that the department said expand access to public lands and increase hunting, fishing and recreational opportunities nationwide.

The department said the orders deliver on promises that President Donald Trump and Zinke made to expand access to the nation’s public lands. Representatives of sportsman, conservation and recreation organizations praised the actions.

"Outdoor recreation is about both our heritage and our economy. Between hunting, fishing, motorized recreation, camping and more, the industry generates thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity,” Zinke said in a statement.

“Over the past eight years, however, hunting and recreation enthusiasts have seen trails closed and dramatic decreases in access to public lands across the board,” he said. “It worries me to think about hunting and fishing becoming activities for the land-owning elite. This package of secretarial orders will expand access for outdoor enthusiasts and also make sure the community's voice is heard."

The orders were:

  • Secretarial Order No. 3346, whichoverturns the recent ban on lead ammunition and fishing tackle used on Fish and Wildlife Service lands, waters and facilities. The order highlights the need for additional review and consultation with local stakeholders.
  • Secretarial Order No. 3347, whichdirects bureaus and agencies to immediately identify areas where recreation and fishing can be expanded.

The order also requests input from the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council and the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council to provide recommendations on enhancing and expanding access on public lands and improving habitat for fish and wildlife.

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