NAFWS Announces Resolution Supporting Tribal Efforts to Reduce Lead Ammunition

Approved Resolution Promotes Safer Environment for Wildlife and People on Tribal Lands

DENVER, CO, JUNE 29, 2015 – The Native American Fish & Wildlife Society (NAFWS) announces the approval of a resolution that supports tribal efforts to reduce, prohibit or seek alternatives to lead-based ammunition for the taking of wildlife on tribal lands. This resolution was presented to the Native American Fish & Wildlife Society in May during its annual national meeting.

The NAFWS through its mission, supports tribes and Alaska Native tribes to conserve, protect, and enhance their natural resources. Lead is one of the well-studied of anthropogenic toxins, yet lead in ammunition is largely unregulated. Evidence indicates there is no safe level of lead exposure to children. When discharged into the environment, lead poses health risks to humans who consume wild game and to a variety of wild species. Particularly sensitive to lead poisoning are birds of prey such as eagles, condors, and vultures; and foraging species such as ducks, geese and doves.

Emerson Bull Chief, president of the Board of Directors, NAFWS would like to see tribes adopt lead ammo restrictions if it would ensure a safer environment. “There are many documented cases of bioaccumulation of lead in eagles which have eaten gut-piles of deer and elk killed by lead-based ammo.

“Switching from lead based to non-lead ammunition would have various benefits to humans and animals. First, it would reduce exposure to humans particularly the young population. Secondly, by removing lead from the environment, it would reduce exposure to birds and carrion eaters,” said Bull Chief.

Lead-free efforts have already been underway on tribal lands with the help of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). David Pauli, Senior Wildlife Response & Policy Advisor for HSUS said, “The passing of this national resolution demonstrates critical leadership and vision by The Native American Fish and Wildlife Society.

With millions of non-target wildlife dying from ingesting spent lead ammunition every year, and safer alternatives like copper and steel on the market, it makes sense to phase out lead. The Humane Society of the United States applauds tribal efforts and remains committed to aiding in the protection of wildlife and people from spent lead ammunition for many generations to come.”

The NAFWS is a non-profit organization with a tribal membership of 225 Native American tribes and has been in existence since 1982. It is based in Colorado and seven regions of the U.S. tribal nations are represented on its board of directors. The mission of the NAFWS is to assist Native American and Alaska Native Tribes with the conservation, protection, and enhancement of their fish and wildlife resources.

For more information, contact: Karen Lynch, NAFWS, [email protected], 303-466-1725, ext. 5

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