Seven prominent sportsmen’s groups representing millions of hunters, anglers, conservationists and resource managers today delivered a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure containing recommendations aimed at facilitating the protection and restoration of fish and wildlife habitats as part of a comprehensive approach to water resources management.
The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure is currently considering the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, which sets policies and programs for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Ensuring that water resource projects authorized by the legislation are designed, built and operated to sustain and improve the environment is critical to the health of rivers and other waterways, as well as to fish and wildlife and their habitats.
Signatories of the letter include the American Sportfishing Association, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, B.A.S.S., Ducks Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and Trout Unlimited.
“Every year hunting and fishing contribute $200 billion in total economic activity to our nation’s economy,” states the sportsmen’s letter. “Water resource projects and associated programs are critical to maintaining and improving the natural resources that support these activities.”
“The Corps can do a lot to improve the performance of their projects, increase the nation’s resilience to flood and storm events and enhance fish and wildlife habitat at the same time,” said Jimmy Hague, director of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership Center for Water Resources. “Congress now has the opportunity to send that message to the Corps. If Congress adopts our recommendations, the Corps will improve performance while also saving taxpayer dollars.”