Nontoxic fishing tackle, ammunition required in some state parks, SNAs
On October 15, 2021, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources received a petition from a number of conservation groups requesting that the agency initiate rulemaking to ban the use of lead shot and lead fishing tackle in Scientific and Natural Areas and Minnesota state parks.
After careful consideration, the DNR has determined that it will require the use of nontoxic ammunition on SNA lands that regularly allow hunting and at State Parks and SNAs that hold special hunts beginning in 2023. These changes will have been implemented through orders or DNR procedures that did not require changes to Minnesota rules or statutes.
The DNR denied the petitioners’ request to use rulemaking to ban the use of lead shot and bullets and lead fishing tackle in SNAs and Minnesota state parks as a whole. Given the number of stakeholders potentially affected by such changes and the Minnesota Legislature’s clear indication that it believes a broad ban on lead such as that called for in the petition is a matter for the Legislature, the DNR concluded that this proposal would be more appropriately addressed by the Legislature. Those changes would necessitate statute or rule changes that warrant a comprehensive evaluation and further input from a broad spectrum of Minnesotans.
Though the DNR has denied the petition for rulemaking, we have implemented the changes at SNAs and state parks as outlined above. Additionally, the DNR is committed to working with the petitioners, legislators, tribal governments, wildlife watchers, tackle and ammunition producers, hunters and anglers to facilitate an inclusive conversation in the next year about any potential additional actions.
The DNR continues to encourage the use of nontoxic ammunition and tackle on Minnesota’s lands and waters, including support for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s “Get the Lead Out” program.