Statement: America’s hunters and anglers support the Clean Water Rule
We, the nation’s sportsmen and women conservationists, salute the landmark action taken today by the EPA and the Army Corps to implement the Clean Water Rule. We are pleased that opponents of the Clean Water Rule have largely failed to block implementation of the rule. Thus, today, citizens of 37 states will start receiving the benefits of cleaner water and healthier watersheds.
We are disappointed that a federal judge in North Dakota has temporarily blocked the implementation of the Clean Water rule in 13 states, including Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. But we are confident, that, by the end of the legal process, the Rule will withstand the legal challenges that it is overly protective.
Our goals remains the same: to have the Rule implemented in all 50 states, to see the implementation and enforcement of the Clean Water Act improved, and to receive the outstanding benefits that only clean waterways can provide. It is a straightforward deal for us. We know, and love, the benefits of clean water.
We fish for trout, salmon and bass which inhabit clean streams, rivers and lakes.
We hunt waterfowl which are sustained by healthy wetlands.
We drink, as with one in three Americans, water out of the tap that is provided by headwater streams.
We work in the sport fishing industry, which accounts for 828,000 jobs, nearly $50 billion annually in retail sales, and an economic impact of about $115 billion every year.
We live in communities that are protected from hazardous floodwaters by healthy watersheds.
All of these values are enhanced by today’s action. The Clean Water Rule improves protection of our waterways and wetlands. The Clean Water Rule protects longstanding Clean Water Act exemptions for farmers, ranchers and foresters.
We stand shoulder to shoulder with the hundreds of thousands of Americans—Republicans, Democrats and Independents—who support the Clean Water Rule. During an exhaustive rulemaking process, nearly 900,000 members of the public commented in support of the rule. A recent poll conducted by bipartisan pollsters for the National Wildlife Federation found that 83 percent of sportsmen and women think the Clean Water Act should apply to smaller streams and wetlands.
We commend the agencies for completing this long-overdue rulemaking and we commend all of the members of Congress who have stood with America’s sportsmen and women to block the many efforts to derail the rule. We urge the agencies to continue to vigorously defend the rule in courts, and we urge Congress not to derail it by legislative action this fall.
We have enjoyed the bounty of our nation’s waters this summer—fishing, canoeing, boating, and swimming. We look forward to fall waterfowl hunting with keen anticipation. At the end of each day on the water, we look forward to a tall glass of ice water, or even a cold beer, all of which are here because of clean water.
We support the Clean Water Rule. It will make the nation’s waters cleaner. It is a once-in-a generation event that deserves the praise and support of all Americans.
National Wildlife Federation
The American Fly Fishing Trade Association
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
Izaak Walton League of America