By: Zack Duvall
Ryan Zinke, the first term U.S. Congressman and former Navy SEAL, who was appointed Secretary of the Interior, which oversees the Fish and Wildlife service, by President Trump made waves on his first day at the office in more ways than one.
Not only did the newly appointed Zinke show up to work on a horse, named Tonto, accompanied by mounted U.S. Park Police Officers, but he also wasted no time in issuing two secretarial orders that have gun rights and sporting groups such as the NRA and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation excited.
The order that the groups are perhaps most excited about pertains to the lifting of a ban on lead ammunition and fishing tackle that was enacted by the Obama administration a day before Trump took office, in a move that the NRA at the time called Obama’s “final assault on gun owners’ and sportmens’ rights.” The second order issued by Zinke directs federal agencies to identify areas where recreation and fishing can be expanded and seeks recommendations for expanding access to pubic lands while at the same time improving fishing and wildlife habitats.
“The passage of these secretarial orders will expand access for outdoor enthusiasts and also make sure the community’s voice is heard.” Zinke said in a statement about the orders and their impact on the public.
Critics of the new orders, such as environmental and animal rights groups, say that the laws passed by the Obama administration’s Fish and Wildlife Service were necessary to protect birds and fish from lead poisoning attributed to the use of such lead ammunition and tackle equipment.
However, Zinke and other groups such as the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the NRA called the ban as harmful towards an industry that is responsible for a large amount of revenue in tax and economic activity.
The NRA, Ducks Unlimited, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation were just a few of the sporting and fun rights groups present to show their support for the singing of the new orders Thursday.