U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced that it would withdraw its draft recreational boating compatibility determination (CD) for the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge:
“Today, the people of Lake Havasu City and its stakeholders scored a monumental victory in the fight against bureaucratic overreach. Standing together, as a unified community, we were able to block a terrible proposal put forth by the Fish and Wildlife Service that aimed to close significant areas on Lake Havasu to tubing, waterskiing, fishing and wakeboarding. Ultimately, the Service could not hide from the thousands of voices demanding that the will of the people be heard.
“This victory should put all overreaching federal agencies on notice: the American people are done with big government overreach. We refuse to tolerate lawless, unelected bureaucrats imposing their own political agenda on our communities. I am incredibly proud of the countless individuals and organizations who stood with me in opposing the CD including Lake Havasu City Mayor Mark Nexsen; the Arizona Game and Fish Department; the Lake Havasu Area Chamber of Commerce; U.S. Senator John McCain; the entire Bliss family including Nick, Jenni and my pal Ryder.
“I applaud Dr. Tuggle for doing the right thing by scrapping the CD. Having said that, there were a couple things Director Tuggle forgot. I call on the Service to reopen the Ryde Spot, named after Ryder Bliss, that was unlawfully closed on May 20, 2015. Further, if this agency is going to move forward and pursue an MOU that results in a revised compatibility determination, then the Service should commit to complying with NEPA from the outset. The public controversy surrounding any proposed boating restrictions on Lake Havasu clearly exceeds the Council for Environmental Quality’s requirements for full compliance with this law prior to releasing any future proposals.”