Final ‘Waters of the U.S.’ Rule Represents Victory for Sportsmen, Wildlife & More

Headwater streams, wetlands, drinking water beneficiaries of movement to restore clarity to federal Clean Water Act; sportsmen support rule in face of continued opposition

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Final ‘Waters of the U.S.’ Rule Represents Victory for Sportsmen, Wildlife & More
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers

Washington, DC -( A highly anticipated rule that would enhance critical fish and wildlife habitat, improve the nation’s supply of drinking water and restore clarity to the federal Clean Water Act was finalized this morning, eliciting praise from business owners and sportsmen’s groups, including Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.

Today’s announcement by the administration concludes a multi-stakeholder process aimed at eliminating confusion surrounding the scope of the Clean Water Act. The resulting “Waters of the U.S.” rule reflects a lengthy and comprehensive vetting process, including more than 1 million public comments. Widely supported by citizens, sportsmen and outdoor-focused businesses, it represents a practical approach that addresses the needs of both industry and the general populace.

“The release by the administration of the final Waters of the U.S. rule culminates an unprecedented effort to restore clarity to a bedrock natural resources law, the federal Clean Water Act,” said BHA Executive Director Land Tawney. “The rule will conserve resources important to our fish, our wildlife, our citizens – and to the waters and wetlands that are central to our national identity.”

“A chorus of ducks can be heard quacking from the wetlands where waterfowl are busy nesting and rearing their young, and fishtail slap high-fives are surfacing on the headwaters of our nation’s most precious trout and salmon streams,” continued Tawney, an avid waterfowler and angler. “These are some of the key habitats protected via the Waters of the U.S. rule. We thank the administration for persevering in the face of unrelenting opposition to sustain these places – and the outdoor opportunities they provide – for future generations to experience and enjoy.”

Nonetheless, attacks on the Waters of the U.S. rule and the rulemaking process are ongoing. Senate legislation introduced last month by Sens. John Barrasso and Joe Donnelly would scuttle the rulemaking. Likewise, Rep. Bill Shuster introduced a bill in the House of Representatives in April that would force the rule’s withdrawal. Both measures are strongly opposed by sportsmen and others who care about clean water.

Business interests joined with sportsmen in applauding the administration’s action.

“My business, along with thousands of others, relies on clean water,” said Ben Kurtz, co-owner of Denver-based Fishpond USA. “A love of fishing and a commitment to conserving our fisheries inspired Fishpond and underlies our company’s philosophy. The responsible management of these critical resources is key to our continued existence. We thank the administration for advancing efforts to restore clarity to one of America’s bedrock conservation laws, the Clean Water Act, in the face of intense and ongoing opposition.”

“People from all over the world come to Montana for world-class fishing,” said Erik Hess, owner of the Missoula Fishing Company, based in Missoula, Montana. “They contribute to the $70 billion generated nationally each and every year by hunters and anglers. The Waters of the U.S. rule is vital to our nation’s economy, as well as to fish and wildlife, sportsmen and the population at large.”

Outdoor recreation in the United States sustains a strong and growing economy, providing $646 billion in revenues annually and supporting 6.1 million non-exportable jobs.

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the sportsmen’s voice for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.

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This is UN Agenda 21 and The Wildlands Project. People are too happy to accept the warm and fuzzy BS instead of looking behind the curtain to see who is involved in these “Save the Lands” stuff.

Warm and Fuzzy today and completely Off Limits to the sheep tomorrow.


The WOTUS garbage was intended to force farmers off their own land through horrific burdens of permit requirements, huge fees, and long waiting periods after which the EPA is likely to deny the permits and keep the huge sums of money – paid by farmers and land owners to perform basic maintenance or conservation projects on their own land. What kind of morons support this Marxist claptrap? Anti-hunters and anti-gun bigots supports the “Waters of the US” rule – all marxists. The marxist Obama bureaucrats wrote a lengthy and expensive fee and permit process into their rules. Suddenly us landowners… Read more »


What a load of crap, please tell me how further federal encroachment and legislation of private lands helps anyone. This is clearly a propaganda piece by a political action committee that is probably in bed with the idea that the 2nd amendment has only to do with hunting. This biased article speaks volumes about this site and I will take it off my reading list.


If this thing goes through it will give the epa everything they want to be able to tell people what they can and cannot do with water, that includes the mud puddle after a rain, by the way it also covers swimming pools, so if you have a pool the epa will be able to tell youbwhen you can and can’t use it.