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Flagstaff, Ariz. • Conservations groups contend that the U.S. Forest Service has a duty to ensure that endangered condors and other birds aren't killed by ingesting spent lead ammunition.
The groups sued the agency this week, seeking to regulate lead ammunition in the Kaibab National Forest under a federal law governing the disposal of hazardous waste. Lead ammunition is the leading killer of the California condors.
The Forest Service declined to comment Thursday.
But those working to restore the condor to its historic range in the Southwest say a ban would serve only to create conflicts with hunters. The Arizona Game and Fish Department has been encouraging hunters to use non-lead ammunition.
About 75 condors fly in a range that stretches from Arizona's Grand Canyon to southern Utah's Zion National Park.