Rep. Gosar, Appropriations Committee Rebuke Fish and Wildlife Service over Proposed Lake Havasu Boating Restrictions

Jun 15, 2016 Issues: Government Oversight and Regulatory Reform, Energy, Public Lands and Water

For Immediate Release

Date: June 15, 2016

Contact: Steven D. Smith


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after the House Appropriations Committee passed the manager’s amendment to the Interior and Environment Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2017, which included  language condemning the actions by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (the Service) for proposing new boating restrictions for Lake Havasu:

“The list of supporters in favor of keeping Lake Havasu open for all users continues to grow with the House Appropriations Committee today condemning the Service’s actions to propose new boating restrictions for Havasu. I’d  like to commend Chairman Ken Calvert and his staff for working with my office and recognizing the extremely flawed manner in which the Service went about proposing arbitrary mandates that aim to prevent tubing, fishing, waterskiing and wakeboarding on the reservoir. The Service thought it could quietly close more areas on Lake Havasu without publicly engaging local stakeholders, but now these unwarranted restrictions have garnered nationwide attention.

“Today’s action by the House Appropriations Committee sends a strong message to the Service and puts the agency on notice that the Committee who controls the purse strings is watching. I will continue to use every resource available to reject this job-killing proposal that threatens the livelihood of an entire community. Bureaucratic overreach on Lake Havasu must come to an end.” 


The following language was included in the manager’s amendment that passed the Full House Appropriations Committee today:

In the report on page 16, under National Wildlife Refuge System, insert the following new paragraph: “The Service is reminded that solutions to recreational-use conflicts in national wildlife refuges should begin with the Refuge Manager engaging their local communities and collaborating with local officials and other representatives of recreational users to find mutually-agreeable solutions to conflicts.  Failure to do so can result in significant public backlash, such as has happened with regard to proposed new recreational boating restrictions at Lake Havasu National Wildlife Refuge. 

Congressman Gosar has created a comprehensive information page on his website HERE documenting all relevant facts of this issue as well as a timeline of important events.

Congressman Gosar spearheaded a bipartisan effort submitted by 21 members of the House of Representatives that raised serious concerns about the CD and asked for an extension of the public comment period. The Congressman also submitted an appropriations rider, submitted a FOIA request, attended and helped secure a public meeting in Lake Havasu City, submitted numerous written comments and questions to the Service, and interrogated several agency officials in attempting to prevent these arbitrary boating restrictions.