June 7, 2023
The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies supports the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to reject a Center for Biological Diversity’s petition to undertake a national rulemaking concerning lead ammunition and tackle on the National Wildlife Refuge System (Refuge System).
Considering state fish and wildlife agencies exercise primary statutory authority for management of species within their borders across all types of land, including those within the Refuge System, we greatly appreciate Director Williams’ commitment to coordinate closely with AFWA and the States on a workable path forward that considers all available science, relies on broadly tested and utilized state approaches and programs, and supports participation in hunting and angling.
We acknowledge this is an important issue, and we firmly believe that continued expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities on America’s lands and waters is essential to our nation’s system of conservation and the wellbeing of people, fish, and wildlife. With more people relying on our natural resources for mental and physical health, subsistence harvest, and recreation, increasing the ability of state agencies and their partners to ensure the sustainable management of fish and wildlife and their habitats is more important than ever.