Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing on the Sportsmen’s Act of 2015, which would protect opportunities for hunting, shooting, and fishing, among other recreational activities, by opening up certain public lands to sportsmen.
It would also clarify that ammunition and fishing equipment would be exempt from certain regulation. This is important because lead ammunition and lead fishing weights have been unfairly targeted in the past. Their opponents have made erroneous claims about their effects on wildlife.
One can look only to late last year for a perfect example of that. It was discovered through emails that federal officials withheld critical data on lead blood levels in the California Condor, which was the primary argument made in the case that pushed a lead ammunition ban through in California.
At today’s hearing was Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) CEO Wayne Pacelle, who provided testimony in opposition of the Sportsmen’s Act. His reporting on lead ammunition was incredibly inaccurate, serving only to muddle the conversation. You see, if this bill is passed, the regulation of lead products would be much more difficult. Some disagree with that outcome, but in reality, it would end what has seemingly been a key piece of HSUS’s strategy in limiting hunters and anglers.
If lead ammunition and lead fishing equipment are banned, it raises prices for them. With higher costs comes a decrease in participation, something HSUS very much wants to see happen.
One of the Senators hearing the testimony was Cory Booker of New Jersey. Senator Booker provided Pacelle with softball questions, citing his own false reports on the amount of wildlife harmed by the effects of lead ammunition. In case you were wondering, yes, Cory Booker has received campaign funding and legislative endorsements from HSUS and its Legislative Fund in the past.
The ease in which Wayne Pacelle lied to the faces of the committee members was extremely apparent. He has become an artist in the practice, as he’s had to resort to this hundreds of times in the past in order to get what he desires. In honor of his work in this field, perhaps we could get a hashtag started for him, something along the lines of #PacelleLies.
We will have more details on the hearing as they become available.