In late March, then Interior Secretary Gale Norton announced that wetlands loss had finally come to an end, with 715,300-acre gains since 1997. It turns out she was counting artificial golf course water hazards and farm impoundments. The Fish and Wildlife Service reports a continued loss of 523,500 acres of natural wetlands during the same time period.My emphasis.
All I can say is that that's a lot of new golf courses and new farm impoundments.
As Field and Stream points out: "That type of public policy provides an excuse for more permits to drain more natural and productive wetlands to be replaced by non-productive water hazards. Those might be good for real estate values along the 18th fairway, but for fish and wildlife that rely on wetlands ecosystems to survive, it's terrible."
And also, of course, for people who like hunting and fishing, or just going out and seeing the natural world.