BY JEFF CHUDZINSKI North Country This Week CANTON — State lawmakers in both the Senate and Assembly are aiming to ban the use of lead ammunition for hunting but St. Lawrence County legislators are …
BY JEFF CHUDZINSKI
North Country This Week
CANTON — State lawmakers in both the Senate and Assembly are aiming to ban the use of lead ammunition for hunting but St. Lawrence County legislators are pushing back on the bills.
Legislator Nicole Terminelli said she made the decision to oppose the legislation after a meeting with the fisheries advisory committee.
“This is one more time that we see this state bringing through legislation that largely impacts New York City as far as water quality goes,” Terminelli said.
Under the proposed legislation, hunters would not be allowed to use lead ammunition in wildlife management areas, state forests, forest preserves, state parks and any other state-owned land that is open for hunting and on land contributing surface water to the New York City water supply, according to the resolution.
Terminelli was critical of the state’s legislation, saying the move to ban lead ammunition so quickly will cause a ripple effect on many people.
“It’s not logical or feasible,” she said.
Terminelli also called for an educational component if the state wanted to move forward, saying that hunters should have an opportunity to learn what can be used and what options are readily available to them.
Supply chain issues were also another concern Terminelli highlighted, saying such a change could possibly cause a problem for many hunters.
“The current science on this subject does not warrant a full ban on the use of lead ammunition while hunting and resources would be better spent on educating hunters about non-lead alternatives and developing programs to increase the supply and availability of non-lead hunting ammunition,” the county resolution states.
Legislators also noted the supply of ammunition is “erratic and manufacturers are severely backlogged and struggling to keep shelves stocked.
Terminelli suggested a phase-in period would make more sense, allowing manufacturers to catch up on supply.
Legislator Rick Perkins told legislators that hunting in the North Country has no bearing on New York City.
“Most people from NYC probably don’t realize our waters from here flow north, they don’t go to the city. This has no effect on them and shouldn’t affect us,” Perkins said.
Legislator Joseph Lightfoot also criticized the state’s knee jerk approach to passing legislation.
“There seems to be no end to New York City residents trying to have our way of life dictated by them,” he said.
According to the pending legislation, lead ammunition would be banned for all types of hunting on any state-owned land, not just for waterfowl. Lead shot was banned for waterfowl nationwide in 1991.
Though she had a few reservations, Legislator Margaret Haggard supported Terminelli’s resolution saying she appreciated the educational element, as well as the phase-in approach.
“I really appreciate the way Mrs. Terminelli has indicated that a phasing in should happen, education should be included and she pointed out the supply chain issues,” Haggard said.
Haggard also noted that a number of families she knows depend on hunting as a very important food source.
“I can support this, despite it not being environmentally sound,” Haggard said.
The resolution passed unanimously and now moves to the full board for final approval.