- WILDLIFE AND
On May 15, 2012, Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center (PEAC), Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), the Sierra Club, and the Grand Canyon Wildlands Council served the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) with a second 90-day Notice of Intent to Sue under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), as well as a second 60-day Notice of Intent to Sue for alleged violations of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Previous petitions had led to a lawsuit, in which the NRA participated, that was thrown out of court.
The latest notices are precursors to yet another lawsuit regarding the California condors. These environmental groups claim that the condors in Arizona are being poisoned by scavenging game carcasses shot by hunters using lead ammunition, and that the USFS is failing to fulfill its obligation to ban the use of lead ammunition for hunting game in order to combat the alleged problem.
The reintroduction of the California condor in Arizona was allowed only after express commitments were made by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies that the reintroduction would not impact hunting. Nonetheless, the groups now want the USFS to ban the use of lead ammunition. But Federal Register 61 Fed. Reg. at 54,050 plainly states the clear intent that the condors were reintroduced into Arizona as an experimental “10(j)” flock under the ESA, and should not restrict any current or future hunting. Further, the final rule expressed in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §17.84(j)(2)(I) provides that the experimental reintroduction allows for the taking of condors if it is “incidental to a lawful activity” — which includes hunting.
The new notices were also served after previous defeats in two similar cases: Center for Biological Diversity v. U.S. Bureau of Land Management, et al.(CBD v. BLM) and Center for Biological Diversity v. Lisa P. Jackson, et al. (CBD v. EPA), both of which sought lead ammunition bans.
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