Tim Pearce, DCNF
A bipartisan coalition of House lawmakers will roll out proposed amendments to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) next week to allow more input from landowners and local governments, the House Western Caucus announced Friday.
Members of the Western Caucus will detail eight to 12 new bills in a press conference July 12. The amendments will address “problematic or dysfunctional” parts of the ESA that attempt to protect endangered species by placing strict regulations over land managers and severely limit land use.
“There is abundant evidence that the ESA needs to be modernized in order to better protect species, and to treat property owners, states, and local communities as partners rather than obstacles in species rehabilitation,” a Western Caucus press release stated. “These modernization goals are practical, attainable, and will ultimately improve the ESA’s ability to preserve our nation’s incredible plants and animals.”
The ESA has successfully rehabilitated less than about two percent of the more than 1,600 U.S. species listed for federal protection. That amount may be more than double the actual amount, though, as many species are listed in error or delisted after further studies on the species are done, according to an April 16 Heritage Foundation report.
“This clear failure of the existing ESA is compounded by attacks on property rights through substantial federal restrictions on land use, and the ESA’s one-size-fits-all approach to species protection that has little regard for solutions from states and on-the-ground experts,” the Western Caucus stated.
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