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What the Press Said About Protecting Our State's Loons by Enacting Senate Bill 89

Senate Bill 89 (SB 89) received editorial endorsements from four major New Hampshire newspapers:  The Union Leader, Concord Monitor, Valley News, and Nashua Telegraph.  Meanwhile, well-read and respected sportsman John Harrigan offered his support for SB 89 in his widely-read Woods, Water, and Wildlife column in the Union Leader.

Our successful efforts in support of SB 89 received praise from Governor Hassan and the legislators in attendance for the bill's ceremonial signing, and these efforts were also lauded by the press. 

For over three decades, the Loon Preservation Committee (LPC) has been monitoring and managing New Hampshire’s loon population.  Since its inception, LPC has created the most complete and longest-running database of loon populations and productivity that exists anywhere in the world, and conducted the most comprehensive research ever undertaken on contaminants and other challenges facing loons. 

LPC’s extensive research showed that SB 89 is important and necessary legislation to protect our state’s loons from toxic lead (Pb) fishing sinkers and jigs.  Therefore, we are pleased that SB 89 was signed into law this year and enjoyed strong support from the media and legislators who considered the arguments by those for and those against SB 89. 

The Meredith News
Editorial: Widespread Efforts, Widespread Effects
 September 5, 2013

“The legislation [Senate Bill 89] also shows how the efforts of advocates can lead to great changes.  The Loon Preservation Committee… and other advocates rallied efforts and support to have their message heard by legislators.  This was indeed a widespread effort of people from across the state and an example of civic involvement.” 

Union Leader
Time to Do What's Right for the Loon's Haunting Call in the Night
Woods, Water, and Wildlife
 by John Harrigan
May 19, 2013

"I've heard from all sides on the issue of lead jigs and lures versus their effects on loons, and have been asked to write about it because a defining bill is before the House, and will come up in the ensuing week.  [Senate Bill 89] should not be tabled or sent to committee, where so many bills are sent to die..."

"I'm sick and tired of the whining about having to chuck lead-laden jigs and buy new tackle.  Come on, now...  Time to step up, I think, and get rid of the old and the bad, and do what's right for the resource, which is what that loon's call in the evening air is all about."  Read the full column here.

Union Leader
Editorial:  Protecting Loons:  Who Bears the Cost?
April 22, 2013

“Lead sinkers and jigs are cheap - for anglers. They are very expensive for loons. The birds used to bear all of that cost, but preservationists and Fish and Game have eased the burden. Together they pay a heavy cost so that fishermen can save a little money on weights and jigs. It seems to make more sense to have the fishermen pay a little more for tackle rather than have so many people working so hard to keep that cheap lead out of the mouths of these cherished birds.”  Read the full editorial here

Concord Monitor
Editorial: A Sensible Measure to Protect the Loons
April 16, 2013

“…The highest mortality – 11 loons – came in 2010, long after the current law was enacted.
This may not seem a large number. But loons don’t breed until they are about 6 years old, and they produce on average only one surviving chick every two years. So mortality at the level caused by lead tackle is a threat to their population…”

“…We are at odds with ourselves, in working so hard to protect loons with one hand while poisoning them – albeit accidentally – with the other. We owe it to these vulnerable birds, emblematic of our state, to work with both hands, together.”  Read the full editorial here

Valley News
Editorial: Loons and Lead; N.H. Bill Offers Needed Protection
April 13, 2013

“…[A]ll that hard work — of both the volunteer conservationists who have gone to extraordinary lengths to protect and create loon breeding habitat and the loons who fastidiously practice family planning — can be quickly wiped out when loons encounter lead tackle introduced into their environment by sport fishing…”

“…the ability of manufacturers — in this case, those that serve recreational fishing — to respond to changed requirements and serve the needs of their customers has been demonstrated repeatedly.”

“Bass fishing and loons can flourish together. Get the lead out.”

Nashua Telegraph
Editorial: Lead Lures Not Worth the Price
May 7, 2013

“...Massachusetts enacted a lead lure ban in 2012 and still sold 10,000 more fishing licenses than the year prior.

State officials don’t attribute the increase to the ban – it resulted more from good weather and a longer fishing season, Marion Larson, the department’s information and education chief, said last week. But, certainly, the new restriction didn’t prove to be much of a deterrent for Massachusetts fishermen. Nor would it in New Hampshire.

In the short-term, the restriction might lead to higher costs for some fishermen. But, taking the long view, losing more loons would come at a greater cost to New Hampshire’s natural heritage and its tourist economy. That’s not a price we’re willing to pay.”  Read the full editorial here.

Other Media Coverage and Opinion Pieces Regarding Senate Bill 89

Concord Monitor
Guest Commentary: New Hampshire Has a Long Tradition of Protecting Birds
Sheridan Brown
May 11, 2013

WMUR-TV, Channel 9
Bill Aims to Prevent Lead Poisoning in Loons
Suzanne Roantree
May 8, 2013

Nashua Telegraph
Small Nashua Fishing Tackle Shop Fears Effect of Expanding Lead-Sinker Ban
David Brooks
May 6, 2013

Nashua Telegraph
Guest Commentary:  NH Bill Would Protect Loons from Lead Fishing Tackle
Sheridan Brown
April 21, 2013

WNTK Talk Radio FM99.7 / AM 1490 (broadcast area includes parts of Grafton, Hillsborough, and Merrimack counties)
Harry Vogel and Sheridan Brown Discuss SB 89 on WNTK’s “Live and Local with Ben Sarro.”
April 15, 2013
Part 1 of 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLnYi6zYlK4&list=UUhsAuvDAO-cYV5kz-KWVxtg
Part 2 of 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6Wc32UUi_A&list=UUhsAuvDAO-cYV5kz-KWVxtg&index=1

Union Leader
Loon Groups Push for Bill to Ban Lead Fishing Jigs in NH
Dan Seufert
April 10, 2013

New England Cable News
NH Lawmakers Consider Proposal That Would Protect Loons
Lauren Collins
April 9, 2013

New Hampshire Public Radio
Prospects Good for Tighter Lead Laws
Sam Evans-Brown
April 9, 2013

Boston.com (Boston Globe)
Wildlife Group: NH Needs Effective Lead Tackle Ban
Morgan True, AP
April 9, 2013

Seacoast Online
Groups Want to Save N.H Loons by Banning Lead Fishing Tackle
Morgan True, AP
April 9, 2013

Foster’s Daily Democrat
Conservation Groups Call for Lead Tackle Ban in NH
Morgan True, AP
April 9, 2013

Union Leader
March 28, 2013
Another View -- Sheridan Brown: The Science is Clear: NH Must Ban Lead Fishing Sinkers and Jigs

Union Leader
Loon Advocates Renew Call for Lead Fishing Jigs Ban
Dan Seufert
March 26, 2013