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Park Service Bans Lead


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This mornings Mpls. Star has an article saying the National Park Service has banned the use of lead for fishing within Voyageur National Park starting in 2011. What are your thoughts on this decision?

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This is just another example of the Park Service being out of touch. Some PETA goof sent a letter I'm sure so they over react in this way. I hope they have the common sense to send the Rangers and CO's out with leaflets this year to give everyone advance notice of this.

Glad I won't live another 30 years. It's getting pretty sad lately.

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Guess I better make voyageurs my summer trip in 2010.

You should anyway!! wink

There is no threat of the lead killing the kid who was shot this week. (they are leaving it in his back) but it is bad for wildlife?

Somebodys trying to blow smoke up our @#&. mad

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From the Minnesota DNR website. This is reason enough for me to support it.

*****

Loons routinely swallow small pieces of gravel on the bottom of lakes. The gravel passes to their stomach and helps in digestion, like grit in the stomach of a chicken. When fishing sinkers are lost during fishing and drop to the bottom of the lake, they can be picked up by loons, or by waterfowl like ringneck ducks and trumpeter swans. Some loons also swallow fishing jigs when they mistake them for minnows. As the lead sinker or jig is exposed to the acids of the stomach and to other pebbles, lead enters the bird's system and slowly poisons the bird.

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Looks like there is some confusion on this topic. This is from the National Parks main site.

**

A surprise press release by the National Park Service launched a national controversy. Acting NPS Director Dan Wenk announced the park service is going lead free. “Our goal is to eliminate the use of lead ammunition and lead fishing tackle in parks by the end of 2010,” Wenk stated in the release. “We want to take a leadership role in removing lead from the environment.”

The ambiguous press release dropped a bomb on sportsmen’s and conservation groups across the country. “The National Park Service’s decision is arbitrary, over-reactive and not based on science,” said Steve Sanetti, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry. “Studies show that traditional ammunition does not pose a health risk to humans, or wildlife populations as a whole.”

Turns out the uproar was all for naught. David Barna, NPS chief of Public Affairs, said it’s not a rule change at all, but rather an in-house decision. “It’s an announcement to let the public know that the PARK SERVICE intends to go to non-lead shot in our weapons and non-lead fishing gear in the work that we do,” said Barna. “It’s not a requirement or regulation for our visitors. We’re just announcing that’s the direction we’re going and we’re encouraging the public to do the same.”

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Looks like there is some confusion on this topic. This is from the National Parks main site.

**

A surprise press release by the National Park Service launched a national controversy. Acting NPS Director Dan Wenk announced the park service is going lead free. “Our goal is to eliminate the use of lead ammunition and lead fishing tackle in parks by the end of 2010,” Wenk stated in the release. “We want to take a leadership role in removing lead from the environment.”

The ambiguous press release dropped a bomb on sportsmen’s and conservation groups across the country. “The National Park Service’s decision is arbitrary, over-reactive and not based on science,” said Steve Sanetti, president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry. “Studies show that traditional ammunition does not pose a health risk to humans, or wildlife populations as a whole.”

Turns out the uproar was all for naught. David Barna, NPS chief of Public Affairs, said it’s not a rule change at all, but rather an in-house decision. “It’s an announcement to let the public know that the PARK SERVICE intends to go to non-lead shot in our weapons and non-lead fishing gear in the work that we do,” said Barna. “It’s not a requirement or regulation for our visitors. We’re just announcing that’s the direction we’re going and we’re encouraging the public to do the same.”

Ummmmmmm, they can't even get a press release right?

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Eventually the lead is going to be banned not only by the NPS, but by the states. Minnesota has had this come up in the legislature twice so it is not going away. I have some steel jigs and split shot and I can't tell the difference, so I'm not opposed to it. I don't shoot so I'm not affected by the ammo restriction, but I hear it makes a big difference.

On the other hand, when I've been out fishing I've seen dead fish, snakes, deer, seagulls, an eagle, bear, moose, owl, beaver and variety of other animals; but, I have never seen a dead loon. I guess they all sink to bottom with all the lead in their stomachs.

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What's the price difference between lead and steel jigs? The biggest problem of course is availability.

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This is not a ban on the public use of lead in National Parks. It an internal restriction only for the park service. Apparently the press release that came out of Washington was so poorly worded that everyone thought it was a public use ban.

There is an editorial in the Falls paper that explains it. ifallsdailyjournal.com ,look in recent posts.

If you do a google search for non lead fishing tackle there is tons of info on it. There has been alot of talk about doing this at the state level but no one has wanted to take it on. So we have dodged the lead ban this time but I wouldn't be suprised to see it come up again at the state or federal level.

Duckster

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Check this out...

http://www.pca.state.mn.us/oea/reduce/radomski2006.pdf

What caught my eye is the estimated 16 tons of accumulated lead in FIVE lakes in the state.

We don't paint walls with lead paint, removed lead from gas, shoot shotgun shells with steel or tungsten. I just dont understand why people are so attached to lead fishing jigs. There isn't the best selection of non-toxic tackle, but if you look you can find it.

Tungsten is a FAR more dense material, Bismuth nearly the same. They are a bit more expensive, but there are plenty of us out there who spend several thousands on boats, ice houses, trips.... but then complain about a few bucks they may have to spend on jigs.

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How many jigs do you have? Would you want to replace them all even if you could? Think of the differnet sizes, shapes and colors of lead lures you own. I know I have several hundred in my summer bag and at least a hundred in my ice bag.

I have many fond memories of years spent in the park. This is yet one more reason I quit going to VNP. Those of you that don't mind the ever growing layers of bureaucracy and regulations, I truly hope you enjoy your time in the VNP. I can't take it any more.

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Never really thinking of it untill I came on this post/discussion.....I fished the "Namakan Reservoir"(Sand Point Lake, Grassy Bay) since the early 70's and remember one particular year(mid 70's) when the water level was down tremendously(about 5+ feet if I recall do to the opening and closing of the dams on the lakes) exposing the bottom rocks that ordinarily would be water covered about 10'-20'and even more in shallower bays, out from shore in areas, ...the big "thing" in those years was the use of the"Lindy Rig"...I remember taking an old coffee can in Grassy Bay(starting in front of my campsite) and filling it 2 times...yes 2 times!....I only walked the shoreline for about 500 yards to fill these 2 cans... the majority of the items were the lead Lindy sinkers of different colors but mostly just unpainted.....there was also dare devil spoons,hooks,many split shot sinkers, spinners, etc, but the primary item was those Lindy lead sinkers...I "reused" alot of those sinkers and had em for years afterword ...Only now do I reaize he impact of the lead in the waters and after reading these findings and posts, and see the concern that the Forest Service(State and Federal) have.....Yes 16 tons is probably an underestimate of whats in those waters....Pros or cons I will certainly be up in the Voyageurs Park in the future...still a beautiful piece of Minnesota...Glad we were fortunate to possess it rather than Canada....

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  • 2 weeks later...

The attachment to lead is simply price and availability.

Fact is steel ought to be cheaper.

Give me a cheaper alternative and I'm onboard.

Right now, the competitors haven't figured out a way to make steel cheaper.

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