ACADIA NAT’L PARK — A ban on the use of lead ammunition and fishing sinkers on federal lands, issued on the last full day of the Obama administration, would have had no effect on Acadia.
And neither will the reversal of that ban by Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke on March 2, his first day in office.
That is because the use of lead sinkers already is prohibited in Acadia, and hunting is not allowed anywhere in the park.
A directive by the National Park Service (NPS) in 2009 required the use of “non-lead based ammunition and fishing tackle in NPS units where those activities are authorized.”
And since then, the park’s law enforcement rangers have used only non-lead bullets at their practice range off Route 3 in Otter Creek.
“The use of non-lead ammunition at the firing range in the park will continue,” park spokesman John Kelly told the Islander Tuesday.
Rangers do have lead-based ammunition to use with their service weapons when on duty.
The 2009 NPS directive requiring the use of non-lead ammunition and fishing tackle said, “Removal of lead as a source of contamination in natural resource related activities in national parks will benefit humans, wildlife and ecosystems.”
The ban ordered Jan. 19 of this year by Dan Ashe, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) under President Obama, would have applied to federal wildlife refuges and other lands administered by the FWS.
The FWS, like the NPS, is part of the Department of the Interior.
Ashe said in his order that he was issuing the ban to protect wildlife from exposure to lead.
In overturning that order, Zinke said it had been issued “without significant communication, consultation or coordination with affected stakeholders.”