From the headwaters to the ocean, free-flowing rivers support human health, prosperity and our way of life. The salmon and steelhead runs of the Columbia River Basin are a classic example, feeding Native cultures for thousands of years and remaining valuable for anglers, tourist business and rural communities from Astoria, Oregon, to Stanley, Idaho. These ageless fish runs are threatened by unbalanced uses of the rivers, particularly excessive hydropower exploitation.
We all use electricity, so we all share responsibility to not allow our demands for energy destroy priceless natural resources, such as salmon. The tradition of catching wild, ocean-running fish on the big rivers of the Pacific Northwest is part of our social fabric that we must pass on to our children and grandchildren. There is no substitute.
AMERICAN FISHERIES SOCIETY ∙ AMERICAN FLY FISHING TRADE ASSOCIATION ∙ BACKCOUNTRY HUNTERS AND ANGLERS ∙ INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF FLY FISHERS ∙ IZAAK WALTON LEAGUE OF AMERICA ∙ NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION ∙ THEODORE ROOSEVELT CONSERVATION PARTNERSHIP ∙ TROUT UNLIMITED
November 2, 2015
The undersigned sportsmen organizations strongly oppose S.1140, the “Federal Water Quality Protection Act.” S.1140 would derail a final rule which clarifies the jurisdiction of the Clean Water Act. Produced by EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers (the Agencies), the Clean Water Rule restores longstanding protections for millions of wetlands and headwater streams. These waters contribute to the drinking water of 1 in 3 Americans, protect communities from flooding, and provide essential fish and wildlife habitat that supports a robust outdoor recreation economy.
The Clean Water Rule is a major step forward in clarifying protections for many streams and wetlands that have been at increased risk of pollution or destruction due to regulatory confusion during the last 15 years. These at-risk streams and wetlands are home to countless fish and wildlife species, and America's hunters and anglers rely on them for access to quality days in the field. A recent poll found that 83 percent of sportsmen and women think the Clean Water Act should apply to smaller streams and wetlands, as the new rule directs. The sport fishing industry accounts for 828,000 jobs, nearly $50 billion annually in retail sales, and an economic impact of about $115 billion every year that relies on access to clean water. The Clean Water Rule will translate directly to an improved bottom line for America’s outdoor industry.
BHA does as much to protect quality fishing as we do for hunting.
• We are walking point in Idaho's Clearwater Basin, advocating longterm protections for world-class fisheries like Kelly Creek, the alpine tarns of the Mallard-Larkin and the tributaries of the irreplaceable Clearwater River. Keep the Clearwater Clear!
• In Montana, we spearheaded state regulations to limit personal watercraft and motorboat traffic on the Bitterroot and Clark Fork Rivers near Missoula, protecting opportunities for fishing in peace and quiet.
• In Colorado, we are working to protect the high, undeveloped backcountry that are the sources of water for trout streams far downstream.
• In Yellowstone National Park, we have long advocated restoration and protection of native cutthroat trout fisheries, both in Yellowstone Lake and streams.
• Nationwide, we have offered rewards and watchdogged illegal motorized abuse of fisheries, from ATV traffic to illegal helicopter guiding.
We love to hunt and fish - and we know you do, too! Thanks to you, our "sportsmen's voice" is getting stronger everyday.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers seeks to ensure North America's outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting, through education and work on behalf of wild public lands and waters.