[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

E-M:/ FW: Izaak Walton League Isolated Wetlands Legal Review

Enviro-Mich message from "John/Jan Trimberger" <jtrimber@earthlink.net>

-----Original Message-----
From: IWLA National Office [mailto:media@iwla.org]
Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2003 10:45 AM
To: IWLA League Leader Media Mailing List
Subject: Izaak Walton League Isolated Wetlands Legal Review


Izaak Walton League of America

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jeffrey M. Fleming
301-548-0150 ext. 215

Izaak Walton League Analysis Says EPA, Corps
Jurisdiction To Protect Waters & Wetlands Remains Broad;
Groundbreaking Analysis Reviews 30-Year Legislative, Legal Record

 	A detailed legal review commissioned by the Izaak Walton League of America
concluded that the two federal agencies charged with protecting America's
wetlands and waters cannot use a flawed two-year-old U.S. Supreme Court case
to sidestep a clear obligation to conserve roughly 20 million acres of
wetlands and thousands of miles of headwater streams.
	The analysis, JURISDICTION UNDER THE CLEAN WATER ACT:  Implications of the
SWANCC Decision, concluded the two principal agencies have broad
jurisdiction over most waters and wetlands including all tributaries of
navigable waters, tributaries of tributaries, and intermittent or ephemeral
tributaries and wetlands, making a new rulemaking process unnecessary.  The
analysis, crafted by James R. Range, a lawyer who played a key role in the
development of amendments to the Clean Water Act in 1977 and served as
counsel to the National Commission on Water Quality in 1972, reviews an
extensive legislative and legal record dating back to 1972.

In January, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers announced they would consider rewriting rules governing what
kinds of waters and wetlands they have the power to protect.  The agencies
asked for comments on how they should regulate those waters and wetlands and
how they should define isolated wetlands and waters.

The comment period closed on April 16th and is the result of a controversial
U.S. Supreme Court ruling two years ago that said the federal government
could not use migratory birds to justify protection of 'isolated' wetlands,
waters, or prairie potholes.  The decision almost immediately ignited a
fierce debate about the future protection of an estimated 20 million
acres -- an area about the size of South Carolina -- of wetland habitat
across the country.

"The agencies have broad jurisdiction to protect waters and wetlands even
small isolated wetlands common in the Prairie Pothole region that includes
the Dakotas and Minnesota deep into the Lower Mississippi Valley," said Paul
W. Hansen, the League's executive director.

"To understand how important small wetlands are to conservation and our
economy one need only consider the roughly $1.5 billion in economic activity
generated by waterfowl hunters each year.  While a conclusion from this
report would be that no new rulemaking process is necessary, if the agencies
choose to write new rules they should reflect the broad jurisdiction
outlined in our analysis.  At least part of the solution to this debate is a
renewed effort to protect these important wetland and water resources
assuring the Administration's commitment to 'no net loss.'  About 50 percent
of the nation's wetlands are already lost, to lose another 20 percent of the
small wetlands and waters we still have would be grievous."

The groundbreaking legal review commissioned by the League relies on an
extensive legislative record to argue that EPA and the Corps have
jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act to protect important waters and
wetlands.  The analysis concluded among other things that the Court's ruling
two years ago in the SWANCC case (Solid Waste Authority of Northern Cook
County v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 2001) should be applied narrowly and
the Congress should be asked to fix the section of the 'Migratory Bird Rule'
the Court focused on.  The review also reaffirmed a view that interstate
commerce could be legitimately used to claim the jurisdiction needed to
protect key intrastate waters and wetlands.

To download the legal analysis and additional information about the League's
review, the status of America's wetlands, and the future of wetland
protection please visit

The Izaak Walton League and its nearly 50,000 members and supporters share
our nation's stewardship responsibilities and are dedicated to common sense,
solution-oriented conservation benefiting the nation's wildlife, fisheries
and the watersheds they depend upon.  The League was founded in 1922 and has
offices in Gaithersburg, Maryland, and St. Paul, Minnesota.

# 2003 - 009

Jeffrey M. Fleming
Director of Communications and Media Relations
The Izaak Walton League of America
707 Conservation Lane
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
301-548-0150 ext 215
301-548-9409 fax
703-858-5663 home


This list distributes information to League Leaders.  All content is
generated by the IWLA National Office. List membership consists soley of
IWLA members, is the property of the Izaak Walton League and is not shared
with other companies or organizations.

The National Office can be contacted at:

707 Conservation Lane
Gaithersburg, MD  20878
Phone: 301-548-0150
Phone: 800-IKE-LINE (453-5463)
Fax:   301-548-0149
Email: <mailto:general@iwla.org>
WWW:   <http://www.iwla.org>

You are currently subscribed to media as: jtrimber@earthlink.net
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-media-15130V@list.iwla.org

ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
majordomo@great-lakes.net  with a one-line message body of  "info enviro-mich"