Bill to Reform Endangered Species Act
by Aaron Martin
The House Natural Resources Committee approved legislation on Wednesday that was introduced by Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) to reform the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Neugebauer introduced the State, Tribal and Local Species Transparency and Recovery Act after participating in the ESA Working Group to discuss and analyze the ESA for a year.
"I'm pleased that my colleagues are supporting this commonsense legislation to improve the Endangered Species Act," Neugebauer said. "My bill ensures that there is open data sharing between the federal government and state, tribal and local agencies. State and local experts are often the best equipped to determine appropriate conservation measures, and their data should be included in discussions from the beginning. . . ."
Under the bill, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) would be required to give states 90 days advance notice before a proposed endangered species listing. Local authorities would then have an opportunity to develop a state protective action plan to protect the species before it's listed as endangered, and the FWS would have 45 days to approve or deny the plan.
"ESA listings are incredibly costly, and they can impact communities for generations," Neugebauer said. "That's why it's important that the data used to make listing decisions is transparent and verifiable. I'm looking forward to bringing this legislation to a vote on the House floor so we can begin to make measurable improvements to the ESA."
Irrigators Ask Governors to Convene God Squad over ESA Salmon Issues by Bill Rudolph, NW Fishletter, 4/24/14
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