Tipped off by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (a trade group) and the National Rifle Association (a membership group), the online outdoor media and bloggers immediately raised the alarm, such as this piece by Jim Shepherd of The Outdoor Wire:
There is no scientific evidence that the use of traditional ammunition is having the claimed adverse impact on wildlife
Wildlife management is the jurisdiction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services and the 50 state wildlife agencies, not the EPA
A 2008 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on blood levels of North Dakota hunters confirmed that consuming game harvested with traditional ammunition does not pose a human health risk
By Friday, August 27th, the EPA backed down on the ammo part, admitting that it lacked jurisdiction under the 1976 law.
Lead shot for waterfowling was banned in the 1980s. I think that there was a stronger scientific case made there. But banning all lead (even for the military?) would make both hunting and recreational target-shooting more expensive and thus less attractive. I am pretty sure that the CBD folks saw that as a plus.
So by the Friday, the CBD was crying in its beer, trying to make it sound as though all conservation groups were disheartened by the EPA's entirely legal response.
Now here is the weird part. I have been around the hunting-conservation world for a few years. I'm a member of the Colorado Wildlife Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and Backcountry Hunters & Anglers--all membership groups with proven records.
But I have never heard of CBD's so-called hunters' group Project Gutpile. The name itself sounds like a bad joke. Its only Web presence is a blog, and the latest entry on that blog is ... surprise! ... the CBD's sad news release, verbatim.
Can you say "astroturfing," boys and girls?
It hurts the CBD's credibility when they have to create fake allies as well as conceal their real agenda.
Disclaimer: Through its lawsuits, the CBD indirectly got M. and me a summer job with the BLM for a few years, back when we sorely needed the money. That story is here.
Still, this New Yorker profile (hat tip, Steve Bodio) describes CBD founder Kieran Suckling as "a trickster, philosopher, publicity hound, master strategist, and unapologetic pain in the ass," out to destroy all logging and ranching in the Southwest.
And hunting too, I am sure.