MOULTONBOROUGH — The Loon Preservation Committee and NH Lakes Association have recognized Senator Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro) for his nearly two decades of legislative efforts to protect the Granite State's loons—a threatened species—from toxic lead (Pb) fishing sinkers and jigs (hooks with a lead weight molded around them).
At LPC's Loon Center, LPC and NH LAKES presented Bradley with a loon photo bearing an inscribed plaque recognizing his work in support of Senate Bill 89, sponsored by Senator Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith) and his own prior bills that paved the way for SB 89's passage last year. SB 89 closes a gap in current state law banning the sale and freshwater use of certain lead sinkers and jigs responsible for almost half (49%) of all NH adult loon deaths. Senator Bradley sponsored the state's earliest legislation attempting to address the lead tackle threat to wildlife in 1994 (HB 1527) and 1998 (HB 1196), and he has been among these iconic birds' most important legislative advocates over the past twenty years.
Senator Bradley said "It has been a pleasure to have worked for many years with the Loon Preservation Committee and the New Hampshire Lakes Association to protect New Hampshire's iconic loons. Passage of SB 89 will prevent unnecessary lead poisoning of loons without adversely impacting anglers in our state."
SB 89 was signed into law by Governor Maggie Hassan last year and takes effect on June 1, 2016. At that time, the sale and freshwater use of lead sinkers and jigs weighing one ounce or less will be banned. Since the bill's passage, LPC and NH LAKES have been visiting SB 89's legislative champions to say thank you for their work.
The Loon Preservation Committee ("LPC") was created in 1975 in response to concerns about a dramatically declining loon population and the effects of human activities on loons. LPC's mission is to restore and maintain a healthy population of loons throughout New Hampshire; to monitor the health and productivity of loon populations as sentinels of environmental quality; and to promote a greater understanding of loons and the larger natural world.
For over 35 years, the Loon Preservation Committee has undertaken state-wide monitoring, research, management and outreach to preserve loons and their habitats. LPC staff is supported in these efforts by a large grassroots network of over 1,500 members and volunteers.
The New Hampshire Lakes Association ("NH LAKES") is a statewide, member-supported, nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting New Hampshire lakes and their watersheds through education and advocacy.