ST. PAUL (KMHL) – The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says it will not implement a ban on fishing tackle or ammunition that uses lead or other toxic metals, after considering a petition from environmental groups.

The petition was received by the DNR in September, by groups asking for the agency to ban the possession and use of lead or other toxic fishing tackle within waters within the common loon range and to ban the taking of wild animals while using bullets or shot containing lead.

But Monday, the DNR said after “careful consideration” and the review of more than 20 years of data, that it has denied the petition.

In its decision, the DNR said that it’s not sure it has the authority to institute the ban – and notes the request should be taken up with the legislature.

However, the agency left a little room to continue the conversation in their statement.

“While the DNR has denied the petition for rulemaking, the agency believes the human health and environmental impacts of lead ammunition and tackle do warrant further study and discussion,” said the agency in a statement Monday. “The DNR is committed to working with the petitioners, legislators, tribal governments, hunters and anglers to facilitate a more inclusive conversation on the possibility of future restrictions on the use of lead and other toxic ammunition and tackle.”