What does the Clean Water Act, your computer keyboard, and the future of hunting and cold-water have in common with your responsibility as a sportsman–and the Dalai Lama?
Let’s take them one at a time.
The Clean Water Act has been under a serious attack for almost a decade. It started back in the early 2000s when the Supreme Court stripped CWA protections from temporary and isolated wetlands, claiming Congress never intended for those habitats to be protected when it passed the bill in 1972.
That decision meant the prairie potholes critical for duck production were now open to destruction, as were most streamsides. In all, 20 million acres of wetlands were put on death row.
The fix seemed easy. All those congressmen who say they love hunting and fishing had to do was say, “Yes, we did mean to protect that habitat,” and pass a law confirming their convictions. But those bills were always defeated.
The Obama Administration, after years of delay, recently came through with a new proposed rule that would restore protections to many of those acres.
The rule leaves the fate of those potholes hanging, but it’s better than nothing for the time being.
The rule is now out for public comment, and sportsmen’s conservation groups say the political forces that want to destroy those wetlands are fighting hard and shouting loud–and spreading plenty of misstatements.
So it’s now up to us to get involved.
You can do this easily enough. Several sportsmen’s groups’ Web sites have letters supporting the new rule that you can sign and send electronically.
All it takes is a few mouse clicks, and you will have worked to help make sure future generations can enjoy some of the marvels you’re experienced.
Some of you may be thinking, “I’m just one voice, I can’t make a difference.”
This is where we get to the Dalai Llama, who uttered one of my favorite quotes for times like this:
“If you think you’re too small to make a difference, think about sleeping in a tent with a mosquito.”
Don’t let this opportunity slip by. Our future depends on you.
See Hal Herring’s recent post about the value of clean water here._