Sportsmen Should Beware the Clean Water Restoration Act

Conservationists, Boaters, Fishermen, Hunters, Users of All-Terrain Vehicles and Others Could See Activities Restricted by Oberstar/Feingold Measure

Washington, D.C.: The Oberstar/Feingold Clean Water Restoration Act, scheduled for a hearing in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Wednesday, would do more to threaten the cherished pastimes of hunters, fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts than it would to ensure the cleanliness of our nation’s water, charges the National Center for Public Policy Research in a new study.

“The study shows that under the Clean Water Restoration Act, a wide array of outdoor activities, including habitat creation and conservation, could be heavily regulated or restricted,” said David Ridenour, vice president of the National Center for Public Policy Research, which released the study.  “Hunters could be required to obtain costly permits under CWRA, and could be cited as ‘polluters’ for firing shot.  Boaters would likely find the construction and repair of fishing piers and boat docks receiving enhanced scrutiny from the federal government.  Fishermen risk losing access to some of their favorite rivers and streams.  Other outdoor sportsmen could find their activities constrained.”

The study, “Sportsmen: Beware the Clean Water Restoration Act,” follows release April 9 of a coalition letter warning the legislation would increase confusion over what waters are regulated by the federal government.  The letter was signed by representatives of 19 state farm bureaus, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council, the National Association of Wheat Growers, the Family Farm Alliance, the Family Water Alliance, the National Water Resources Association, the Blue Ribbon Coalition, the Alabama Farmers Federation, the Citizens Alliance for Responsible Energy, the California Land Institute, and very many taxpayer advocacy, policy groups and think-tanks.

Another letter, signed by 100 representatives of other organizations, was sent to Congress in October warning the legislation would reduce property values in an already depressed real estate market.  It also expressed concern that the bill transfers legislative authority to the judiciary, which the letter termed “counter to the principle of accountable government.”

The study is available online at  The April letter and list of signers is available online at CWRA_Letter2_040908.pdf.  The October letter can be found at

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a non-partisan organization located on Capitol Hill and established in 1982.


The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.