FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Erin Mooney, TU National Press Secretary (571) 331-7970
Bill attacks Clean Water Act, public land management, watershed restoration and conservation funding.
Arlington, Va.-- Trout Unlimited (TU) strongly opposes HR 1, a bill to fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year, due to harmful legislative riders that would block the Clean Water Act and other protective rules for streams and enact sudden and steep cuts in conservation programs.
The short-term spending bill, which was passed early this morning, took aim at a suite of natural resource regulations that help protect trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds from mine waste, uncontrolled off-road vehicle use and other impacts. The bill also blocked the processes in place to restore vital watersheds like the Klamath River basin in Oregon and California and the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Additionally, it eliminated grant programs for fish and wildlife habitat restoration.
“The scope of the destruction wrought by this bill is breathtaking, said Steve Moyer, TU’s Vice President for Government Affairs “It rolls back the rules that protect water quality, puts the brakes on collaborative restoration programs in places like the Klamath River and de-funds vital conservation programs. It reverses years of progress and stifles habitat restoration programs just as we prepare to enter the field season. For cooperative conservation programs, it is truly an eviscerating bill,” said Moyer.
The bill contains numerous harmful legislative riders, including:
“Conservation is most effective when it is collaborative and science-based,” said Moyer. “The riders in HR 1 put a halt to the scientific processes being used by federal agencies to develop effective protections for rivers and streams, and stymie collaborative efforts in places like California’s Klamath River basin and San Joaquin watershed.”
The bill also cuts funding for vital conservation programs:
“Hunters and angler conservationists are willing to shoulder our share of the burden for reducing federal discretionary spending, but a disproportionate burden should not be saddled on programs of critical value to sportsmen,” said Moyer. “We call on the U.S. Senate to draft a new version of this bill that is worthy of support of the sportsmen of the nation.”
The U.S. Senate will work on its version of the short-term spending bill in the coming weeks.
Trout Unlimited is the nation's largest coldwater conservation organization, with 140,000 members dedicated to conserving, protecting, and restoring North America's trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds.