Rules are more likely to be followed if they are clear and well understood.

Rules are more likely to be supported if the people who must follow them agree they are needed and they are lawful.

And rules are more likely to achieve their purpose if they meet the prior criteria: people support them and can follow them.

I’ve al­­ways said that anyone ought to be able to look out on a field and easily see which parts of the land are regulated by the federal government and which areas are not. 

That three-legged stool of good rule-making is represented by the new Navigable Waters Protection Rule issued last month by the...