- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 27, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I am a Montana rancher and an area director for Women Involved in Farm Economics (WIFE) who is very concerned about Minnesota Democrat Rep. James L. Oberstar’s introduction of a change in the Clean Water Act (“Bill would expand scope of Clean Water Act,” Politics, Thursday).

As farmers and ranchers, we already are committed to clean water. Without it, we could not produce the food and fiber with which we feed and clothe part of the world. This bill would remove the word “navigable” from the Clean Water Act of 1972, expanding the federal government’s jurisdiction from only navigable waters to all water in the United States. This means the puddles, ponds and seasonal streams on our properties would come under federal control - and it easily could produce a bureaucratic nightmare for us.

Although the name of this bill makes it sound good, it will not ensure cleaner water. It will hinder economic growth in rural America, place hardships on farmers and ranchers and infringe on state and private property rights. I urge everyone to tell their representatives to vote against this bill.

SHANA BAISCH

Glendive, Mont.

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