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E-M:/ Hunter/Angler Groups CWA Letter to White House



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Enviro-Mich message from "Anne Woiwode" <anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org>
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Enviro-Mich -- FYI 


June 26, 2003


The Honorable George W. Bush
President
The White House
1st Floor, West Wing
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

           As our nation's leading hunting and angling organizations, we
are writing to express our strong opposition to potential regulatory
changes that would eliminate long-standing Clean Water Act protections
for millions of acres of wetlands and thousands of small lakes and
ponds. For America's 47.8 million hunters and anglers the protection of
the wetlands and waters where we hunt and fish is one of the single most
important issues pending before the Federal government.

           Specifically, we are concerned that the January 15, 2003
Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the Clean Water Act Definition
of "Waters of the United States" will ultimately lead to the elimination
of Clean Water Act protections for isolated wetlands, lakes and ponds.
We do not believe the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency should proceed with a rulemaking to
redefine "waters of the United States" and ultimately narrow the scope
of the Clean Water Act. After three decades as the most important
federal statute in the protection of fish and wildlife habitat it is
inappropriate from our perspective that the rule making process may be
used to significantly weaken the Clean Water Act provisions of greatest
importance to sportsmen.

America's rich hunting and fishing traditions are inextricably tied to
the protection of habitat and as sportsmen and Republican Presidents
have known for over 100 years isolated wetlands and small ponds are
among the most important of all habitat:

"a little pool out on the prairie will show along its edges numerous
traces of animal life; for, though of small extent, and a long distance
from other water, it may be the home of beavers, and muskrats, the
breeding place of different kinds of ducks and the drinking place for
the denizens of dry country roundabouts, such as wolves, antelope, and
badgers."
-          Theodore Roosevelt, Hunting Trips of A Ranchman -- 1885

Today, over half of all the ducks in North American begin their lives in
the small prairie potholes extolled by Teddy Roosevelt. However, if
Clean Water Act jurisdiction over isolated bodies of water is removed,
96% of these wetlands, and thousands of lakes and ponds enjoyed by
millions of fishermen, could be polluted and filled in without recourse.

We are calling upon you, as a fellow hunter, fisherman, and
conservationist to stop any proposed rulemaking by the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers and or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that would
abolish long-standing Clean Water Act protections for wetlands and other
small bodies of water. Absent these protections, your goal of "no net
loss" of wetlands and the full potential of voluntary wetland
restoration and banking programs will never be realized.

We look forward to working with you in the coming months on this matter
of critical importance.  Your leadership on this issue is greatly
appreciated by America's hunters and anglers.

Sincerely,


American Fisheries Society
American Fly Fishing Association
American Sportfishing Association
BASS/ESPN Outdoors
Boone & Crockett Club
Buckmasters American Deer Foundation
Campfire Club of America
Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation
Dallas Safari Club
Delta Waterfowl Foundation
Ducks Unlimited, Inc.
International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies
Izaak Walton League of America
Mule Deer Foundation
National Shooting Sports Foundation
National Trappers Association
National Wild Turkey Federation
North American Grouse Partnership
Pheasants Forever
Pope and Young Club
Pure Fishing
Quail Unlimited
Ruffed Grouse Society
Shikar-Safari Club International
Texas Wildlife Association
The Wildlife Society
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
Trout Unlimited
U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance
Wildlife Forever
Wildlife Management Institute




cc:  	COE
      EPA
      DOI
      AG

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