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It’s pretty hard to feel any confidence in Ryan Zinke when one of his first acts as secretary of the interior was to repeal a ban on lead ammunition and fishing tackle in national wildlife refuges.

It makes no sense to repeal this ban when steel shot and other materials that are not toxic are readily available. Buckshot accumulates in the beds of wetlands where hunters fire 12-gauge shotgun shells at low-flying birds. Waterfowl rooting in the muddy bottoms can swallow these pellets, which contain a dangerous neurotoxin. Swans and other migratory birds that visit our “so-called” wildlife refuges such as the Skagit Flats are going to suffer from this reversal.

Great start for Zinke to already be embracing the NRA and certain “sport hunting” establishments to the detriment of our wildlife and environmental welfare. By the way, I wonder if most people know that our wildlife “refuges” are actually set aside for bird hunters, and many a bird watcher has had to leave rather than witness the slaughter of what they came to observe and enjoy.

Sharon Stroble, Seattle

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