SACRAMENTO, Calif. – June 13, 2013 – Ducks Unlimited is just one of dozens of conservation organizations opposing California Assembly Bill 711, legislation that would ban the use of traditional ammunition for hunting.
The collective group, the Mule Deer Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Boone and Crockett Club and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, recently submitted a joint letter to California's Senate Natural Resources Committee citing numerous reasons for defeating the bill: "AB711 would be devastating to the thousands of Californians that participate in hunting and recreational shooting, the firearms and ammunitions industries as well as the vital conservation programs they fund. Shooting sports participants and manufacturers are the largest financial supporters of wildlife conservation throughout the United States, having contributed over $5.4 billion to habitat conservation, recreational shooting and wildlife management through Pittman-Robertson excise tax payments since 1991."
The letter also noted "…reduction in hunting opportunities would serve as a significant threat to the many economic benefits that sportsmen and women currently generate in California. For example, in 2011, the 394,471 California hunters alone paid nearly $153.3 million in state and local taxes and employed 20,640 people that paid more than $758 million in salaries and wages. Further, hunters were responsible for over $1.1 billion in retail sales, which had a multiplier effect of nearly $2.17 billion. AB711 would threaten all of these astounding totals to the severe detriment of the state's economy."
From a conservation perspective, DU's Western Region Director Mark Biddlecomb says AB 711 would also have a critical impact on funding.
"The ban on the use of lead ammunition is one waterfowlers addressed many years ago; we haven't used lead shot since the 1990s," he said. "But AB 711 could seriously impact wildlife conservation efforts because the excise taxes firearms and ammunition industry members pay on their products is a major source of revenue for our conservation projects."
The full contents of the letter to the Senate Natural Resources Committee can be viewed online here.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved nearly 15 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org. Connect with us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/DucksUnlimited, follow our tweets at twitter.com/DucksUnlimited and watch DU videos at youtube.com/DucksUnlimitedInc.