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Sportsmen and Women Know Prairie Potholes Too

Jared Mott, IWLA Conservation Director
mallard hen in Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota

President Trump gave a speech at the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting this week in which he mentioned prairie pothole wetlands: “You all know what prairie potholes are? Yes, you do. I don’t, but it sounds bad.”

What sounds bad is the president yanking away wetland protections with no understanding of the irreplaceable role wetlands play in the lives of every American.

First, to answer his question: Prairie potholes are the most important – and most threatened – waterfowl habitat in North America. Every fall, half of all the ducks sportsmen and women pursue across the country are hatched in prairie potholes across the northern Great Plains. It’s not just ducks that love these shallow, freshwater wetlands. More than 300 species of wildlife rely on prairie potholes – for breeding, for migration pit stops, for raising their young. Yet up to 90% of the pothole wetlands in some states have already been destroyed.

Now the administration wants to eliminate Clean Water Act protections for the remaining prairie potholes and all other isolated wetlands, leaving these critical wetland habitats vulnerable to draining or filling. American farmers can be profitable without destroying prairie pothole wetlands to do it. It’s time to tell the administration that what really sounds bad to America’s sportsmen and women are empty skies over their decoy spreads next fall.

Read more about proposed changes to the Clean Water Act >>>