The National Recreation Lakes Study Commission was created by Congress and appointed by President Clinton to examine these concerns. After a year of research, nationwide workshops, and deliberations, the Commission finds that recreation at federal lakes is, in fact, beset by a multitude of difficulties and shortcomings.
At many sites, facilities ranging from restrooms to boat docks to roads are inadequate, aging, and falling apart. Pollution and aquatic plant invasions threaten lake health. Fish habitat is compromised, and with it, species survival and sport fishing. Recreation-too often not integrated with overall project management-is sometimes left high and dry when water is drawn down for other purposes. Some recreation uses conflict with others.
Recreation funding has been cumulatively inadequate, leaving a huge backlog of deferred maintenance. Yet money alone will not fix what is wrong at federal lakes. Policy and management barriers to improved lake recreation are as evident as funds are short.
National Recreation Lakes Study Commission, "Reservoirs of Opportunity: Report of the National Recreation Lakes Study Commission. Executive Summary" (1999). Federal Documents. 9.