June 30, 2009

Condor Report "Inconclusive" on Traditional Ammo

NEWTOWN, Conn. -- A report issued by the California Fish & Game Commission on blood lead levels in California condors is inconclusive and supports the National Shooting Sports Foundation's contention that there is no scientific basis for the state's ban on hunters using traditional ammunition in condor regions.

"The problem all along with linking the use of traditional ammunition and the health of the California condor has been lack of conclusive scientific evidence that justifies banning ammunition containing lead components," said Steve Sanetti, president and CEO of NSSF, trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry. "This report only serves to support industry's position that the ban is unwarranted."

"The report's data certainly does not justify the commission's intent to increase the scope of the ban to include upland and small game in the condor region," added Sanetti. "Expanding the ban will only create another barrier to hunting, reducing funds derived from license fees and tags that support wildlife conservation in the Golden State."

The firearms and ammunition industry vigorously opposed the effort to ban use of traditional ammunition in condor regions, citing lack of conclusive evidence to support claims that some condors had higher elevated blood lead levels from ingesting ammunition fragments while scavenging entrails from hunter-harvested big game. Nevertheless, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the ban into law, which went into effect July 1, 2008.

Then last month the F&G Commission announced its intention to consider expanding the ban to cover small and upland game hunting, a move the F&G Department did not support since condors do not feed on small game and hunters retrieve upland birds from the field. The fact that no scientific evidence exists for condors feeding on small game supports the department's position.

The report, which the commission approved by unanimous vote, covers the first sampling of blood lead levels in free-flying California condors since the ban went into effect. In its summary, the F&G Department and F&G Commission caution that the data was not "systematically collected" and "thus, the information should not be considered conclusive of any 'cause and effect' relationship between the prohibition of lead projectiles in condor range and blood lead levels detected in condor."

The department and commission note that the "sources of lead in sampled condors are unknown, relationship of sampled condors to hunting activity are unknown, and ... the condor feeding habits for this period ... are unknown."

Said Sanetti, "Given all of these caveats, no one should rush to give credence to this report as evidence supporting the state's ban on traditional ammunition."

NSSF questions the report's use of standards for humans as the basis for measuring blood lead levels in condors. The standard "background" blood lead level of 10 micrograms per deciliter (ug/dL) for condors is the same threshold for concern established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a human child.

"To our knowledge, there is no baseline blood lead level established for condors, or any other species of animal, and it strikes us as arbitrary to use a human threshold for a bird species," said Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel for NSSF.

Data in the report was derived from blood lead levels sampled during calendar year 2008 and was provided to the F&G Department by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Samples were taken from 72 free-flying condors in California in 2008. During the January to June period, 59 percent of condors sampled had blood lead levels considered above background levels (greater than 10 ug/dL), and 45 percent of condors had levels above background during July to December of 2008.

The data, said the F&G Department and Commission, is considered inadequate for "any in-depth or meaningful comparative analyses regarding the possible consequences of the '2008 lead ammo ban' in condor range. However, the department and commission conclude that the data provides a basis for future comparison. Beginning in fall 2009, a more comprehensive data collection plan is expected to be in place.

The commission's intent to expand the ban is in response to a lawsuit settlement between the state and plaintiffs the Natural Resources Defense Council and Center for Biological Diversity that stipulates the commission will consider amending regulations requiring alternative ammunition for taking small and upland game within the condor range.

For more information about traditional ammunition and how it relates to the California condor, see www.NSSF.org.

Comments (22)

First, liberals have did more to harm California than lead has, maybe we should outlaw them. Second, Gaviota, IMHO you are the poster child for the pro-gun movement. When it hits the fan, your the one I want in the fox hole beside me with Col. Novack leading the charge. I love your use of adjectives and the great comment about Col. Novack. Movements need people willing to take action, to say the things others think and are afraid to say. Some people are leaders and some are followers. I value that we all (on this post) have the same objective, however have different opinions on strategy. That shows we are free thinkers unlike our opposition who are mostly deemed as sheeple. Throughout time, man has found the need and desire to remove those in power who are taking away the rights of others.

Posted by: Robert J | July 6, 2009 10:35 AM    Report this comment

I am glad that the subject has turned to vultures eating lead. BTW there are no buzzards in North America.
It seems that California beleives that a Condor will find an animal shot with a lead bullet and then eat the bullet. Has anyone thought about this scenerio? While vultures do not look extremely intelegent, I can not beleive that they are that stupid either. What evidence is there of vultures eating bullets?

Posted by: RodolfoFierro | July 6, 2009 4:12 AM    Report this comment

This bunch of that call themselves the fish and game commision here in commifornia are nothinf but a bunch of greenies inviormentalist
that are not hunters and fishermen any more and havn't got the balls enough to stand up for the hunters in this state and tell the greenies and invirementalist that the condors are NOT dying from lead ammo but are goin out on their own and are already being replaced by the turkey buzzards, so they make us change to leadfree ammo that they said would not cost more then couple of cents more to make and buy, but guess what they lied again because ammo that is lead free cost over double what regular ammo cost. so for everyones info the calif fish and game commission are a bunch of wimps and liars.

Posted by: bear1 | July 5, 2009 11:50 PM    Report this comment

Oh, and I'm especially proud of the fact that I never referred to Richard V as "Dick." Sometimes my superhuman restraint surprises even me!


Posted by: Lee W | July 5, 2009 7:04 PM    Report this comment

So, Rudolfo, in answer to your question, I still do not believe that the words "rant, blather, asinine, phony, idiotic, gun-nuts, weasel, foolish, or inflammatory" apply to me or what I wrote, because I intended none of that. I didn't intend to be a smartass, or to cause problems. When it comes to comments like “inarticulate” and “wish you had the balls,” I recognized the playground taunts as the emasculated efforts of someone with no valid arguments left to present. And to address your first post, I never intended anyone to get the impression I was "shouting down" anyone else. I like civil discourse and respectful disagreement. Sometimes that happens, and sometimes, unfortunately, it doesn't. Our resident statesman, Col. Novack, is a diplomat who can tell a man to go the hell in such a way that he can’t wait to get there. I need to pay more attention to his example, and resolve not to get into flame wars with others, or at least abort them sooner than I did. I apologize to everyone here, including Richard V., both for the flame war and the length of this response, and promise to try my best to avoid feeding the trolls in the future. Sorry, guys.


Posted by: Lee W | July 5, 2009 6:09 PM    Report this comment

So, what we had here was Richard V., a new poster (noob) who appears to be suffering from a severe case of unintegrated values. He makes a valid point with his first post that extreme expressions of resentment toward public officials and other opponents of gun-rights in the interest of greater freedom and liberty will alienate the uncommitted fence-sitters, and he’s right. However, without understanding the need for civility and precision in his writing, he tries to convey his point by attacking the motives and character of the very people who generally agree with him, leaving us to wonder how anyone who exhibits such contempt for his fellow man, and posts such snide, sarcastic commentary about total strangers, expects to persuade his friends, much less the people who are unconvinced and potentially hostile.


Posted by: Lee W | July 5, 2009 6:05 PM    Report this comment

Rudolfo, I consider your question to be reasonable and fair. One of the difficulties in text-only communication is that a lot of nuances of speech, such as expression, tone, inflection, emphasis, and pronunciation are lost. Therefore it's important that everyone who blogs or comments be very careful to use only the words that convey precisely what is meant, because without that precision a great deal of ambiguity can creep in, and misunderstandings can erupt when readers apply their own interpretations to what is written. On top of that, it is the natural tendency of the male human mind to react to perceived attack with denial and self-justification, even when we know we're in the wrong. This, I believe is at the core of the flame war above. I wrote something that I considered humorous, and I was responded to with what I considered to be an attack on my character. Please note that, contrary to my first impulses, I did NOT respond in kind. I tried humor. Didn't work. I tried clear, concise explanation. Still didn't work. So, having exhausted the two major rounds in my magazine, the wise thing for me to have done was to realize that further engagement with Little Mister Aintneverwrong was futile, and I should have moved on, quickly, rather than tire everyone else out with fruitless rhetoric.


Posted by: Lee W | July 5, 2009 6:00 PM    Report this comment

Noobs, newbies. New posters. I think Resident Shakespeare describes his writing skills quite well.

Posted by: JWallace | July 5, 2009 8:58 AM    Report this comment

I am not sure what are NOOBS, is it possible that you misspelled it.
Which one of the peroratives do you feel does not describe you and why?

Posted by: RodolfoFierro | July 5, 2009 8:52 AM    Report this comment

Is there anything else you wish to hide in your closet? It would probably be a good idea to hide Richard there as well.

Posted by: JWallace | July 5, 2009 8:33 AM    Report this comment

Richard, your mom named you appropriately. Make sure you eat your veggies and brush your teeth before bed dear. Nighty, night.

Posted by: JWallace | July 5, 2009 8:23 AM    Report this comment

INARTICULATE? Man, that hurts.

You REALLY have no idea what's going on here, do you? Since I have no way to drill understanding into the head of someone who believes that willfully insulting strangers is a good way to get his point across, I will conclude my exchanges with you, and wish you good luck with your crusade against humor and passion in the gun-rights movement. Good bye.

Posted by: Lee W | July 3, 2009 3:19 PM    Report this comment

Our resident Shakespeare feels his inarticulate missives on this site are above criticism? Oh well. I will not be shouted down by fellow gun owners, so that is not a concern. I will call them out for foolish, inflammatory comments that portray our cause in a negative light. By the way Lee, you did nothing but defend and excuse that loud mouth internet DJ who got locked up for inciting/threatening to kill Federal judges. So your position on this issue is clear. I just wish you had the balls to stand behind it instead of weasel some excuse about irony or jokes.

Posted by: Squirmydad | July 3, 2009 2:05 PM    Report this comment

Let's see who's "tarnishing" whom:

Richard and Rudolfo used the following pejoratives in their posts to refer to their fellow gun-owners: rant, blather, asinine, phony, idiotic, and gun-nuts.

I used the word noob.

It's pretty clear to me who's doing the tarnishing. You can "imply" all you want to. The words are there for anyone with 9th grade reading skills to comprehend, and while I freely admit to occasionally getting excited about this issue and engaging in hyperbole, my words on this subject have been far more restrained than those of our Founding Fathers and a good many other patriots who also post on this site, so I consider myself in good company. If you have no ideas, principles, or philosophy to contribute, and the best you can do in this debate is insult fellow gunowners, do us all a favor and STAY in the closet. Noobs.


Posted by: Lee W | July 3, 2009 9:17 AM    Report this comment

This discussion illustrates the reason that I am a "closet" gun owner. When someone trys to introduce some caution to idiotic statements they are shouted down by "gun nuts" !

Posted by: RodolfoFierro | July 3, 2009 1:50 AM    Report this comment

"Why should they be afraid of us sending them high-velocity hot lead Q-Tips to clean out their ears? Because what they're actually doing is far worse than we can possibly imagine, and they can well imagine what we'll want to do to them if we ever find out...." This is an implied threat, and whether you meant it in jest, or in actuality, it conveys a message of gun proponents ("us) finding humor in or condoning the shooting of politicians for their anti gun votes. Sooo, you be testy about the noobs, I'll be testy about the phoney internet tough guys and their lack of common sense- this counts for you too there Jeffy.

Posted by: Squirmydad | July 2, 2009 10:47 PM    Report this comment

Gun owners who worry about their image being tarnished by opinions or jokes offered by others probably shouldn't be carrying firearms. What if someone noticed you were carrying a 9mm instead of a 45? That would probably make you feel inadequate. What if your holster clashed with your suit? The second ammendment defintely doesn't discriminate. I hope to God nobody ever says something like that to me face to face. I'd end up taking their gun away from them because they lack self esteem.

Posted by: JWallace | July 2, 2009 9:19 PM    Report this comment

All jesting aside, Richard, reading comprehension is a good thing. If you re-read my post carefully, you will discover that I did not threaten, advocate, support, or suborn the murder of public officials or anyone else. I clearly stated that the real reason for passing the lead-ban law was because the political vultures are afraid of being shot. I also pointed out that it is their own imaginations that lead them to fear gun owners. Nothing more, nothing else. I respectfully submit that there is nothing in my post that is "tarnishing our image" at all. If you have any doubts about my position on murdering judges and tarnishing images, please see my post on the Hal Turner story on this site.

Because I'm getting testy about noobs misreading my posts and lecturing me about my sense of humor, this is the last time I'm going to be polite about this. Have a nice life.


Posted by: Lee W | July 2, 2009 4:20 PM    Report this comment

I'll keep my sense of humor just the way it is, thank you. I'd request you get your common sense meter repaired or do all of us gunowners the courtesy of not tarnishing our image with written "jokes" about shooting office holders or judges.

Posted by: Squirmydad | July 2, 2009 4:06 PM    Report this comment

I'm very sorry to hear that your last colonoscopy has temporarily damaged your sense of humor, Richard. After you get your irony meter repaired, scan this post again. Hope you feel better soon.


Posted by: Lee W | July 2, 2009 2:30 PM    Report this comment

Internet rants about offing judges, politicians or killing law enforcment when they "come to take my guns" is extrememly destructive to our 2nd Amendment cause. Such blather only serves to create an unseemly image about gun owners, the NRA and our advocates. Our rights hang by a thread politically and every vote counts (see Minnesota)and to alienate the "in the middle voters" with scary, asinine commententry like this will be the beginning of the end.

Posted by: Squirmydad | July 2, 2009 1:33 PM    Report this comment

OF COURSE the CF&G report on condors was "inconclusive!" They're studying the wrong animal!

The lead bullet ban was never intended to "protect condors." California condors are nothing more than oversized buzzards, and buzzards have been taking care of themselves for millions of years without mankind's help, thanks very much anyway. The lead bullet ban was actually intended to protect Californican politicians, who are the vultures deathly afraid of being endangered by lead. High-speed lead, that is.

Why should they be afraid of us sending them high-velocity hot lead Q-Tips to clean out their ears? Because what they're actually doing is far worse than we can possibly imagine, and they can well imagine what we'll want to do to them if we ever find out.

"Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get me!"


Posted by: Lee W | July 1, 2009 10:31 PM    Report this comment

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