Sportsmen Stand Up for the Clean Air Act

Hundreds of  groups that represent fishermen, hunters, and outdoor enthusiasts presented a letter to Congress last week calling for protection of the Clean Air Act. Sportsmen and women released the letter at various locations across the country maintaing that clean air and clean water are critical to preserving their outdoor heritage.

A release of the letter in Massachusetts was held at iconic Walden Pond which was made famous by Henry David Thoreau’s writing. Walden Pond is one of 125 waterways in MA that has a mercury fish advisory. Jim Wallace of the Gun Owner’s Action League joked that Thoreau would have been horrified to know that the fish he used to catch Walden pond could now kill him, due to mercury contamination from air pollution.

Over 30 groups signed the letter in Massachusetts, including the Gun Owner’s Action League, the Massachusetts Sportsmen’s Council, and the Massachusetts Council of Trout Unlimited.

A similar event was held in Michigan along the Au Sable river. Almost 50 groups in Michigan signed the letter, including the Michigan B.A.S.S Federation Nation, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, and the Gates Au Sable Lodge.

Lance Weyeneth, a member of Anglers of the Au Sable and owner of The River Specialist spoke at the press event in Michigan:

Many of our lakes exceed safe mercury levels and nearly all fish contain traces of mercury, causing fish advisories in every state. As a lifelong angler, I don’t want to feed my family mercury-laden fish. I expect Congress to protect our air and water, not gut the protections we worked so hard to put in place.

A fly fisherman in the Au Sable River during the Michigan press event.

More than 30 groups signed on in Pennsylvania as well, including the PA division of the Izak Walton League of America, Fly Fisher’s Paradise, and Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future.

A press event covered by WTAJ in Pennsylvania featured fishermen, hunters, moms, and dads concerned about air quality and mercury contamination.

North Carolina sportsmen organizations also signed onto the letter, including the North Carolina Wildlife Federation, Fowl Play Game Calls, and the NC Camouflage Coalition.

Tim Gestwicki, Executive Director of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation called on North Carolina’s congressional delegation to “protect the provisions of the Clean Air Act and to stop those who would impede EPA from doing its job to protect our natural resources and human health“.

Additional releases of the letter occured in Minnesota, Ohio, Virginia, Maine, Montana, and New Hampshire.

The release of the letter falls in the comment period for the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule to limit mercury and other air toxics from power plants.

Click here to tell the EPA they should limit toxic pollution that settles on lakes and rivers, exposing fish and other wildlife.

Representatives of Sportsmen groups gather at Walden Pond in Massachusetts
Representatives of sportsmen organizations gather in Minnesota for the release.