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Oversight Field Hearing on "Protecting the Rights of Property Owners: Proposed Federal Critical Habitat Designations Gone Wild"
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 11:00 AM
Full Committee
University of Arkansas Community College, Independence Hall, 2005 White Drive, Batesville, Arkansas


Oversight Field Hearing on:

  • "Protecting the Rights of Property Owners: Proposed Federal Critical Habitat Designations Gone Wild"

Archived Video Webcast:

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Member Statements:

The Honorable Doc Hastings
Chairman

Witnesses and Testimony:

PANEL I

Mr. Marcus Creasy
Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association
Heber Springs, Arkansas

Mr. Peter Day
Director
Camp Ozark
Mt. Ida, Arkansas

Ms. Cynthia Dohner
Southeast Regional Director
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Atlanta, Georgia

Mr. Joe Fox
State Forester
Arkansas Forestry Commission
Little Rock, Arkansas
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Mr. Noah Greenwald*
Endangered Species Director
Center for Biological Diversity
Portland, Oregon

Mr. Gregory Hamilton, PhD
Senior Research Economist
University of Arkansas Little Rock Institute for Economic Advancement
Little Rock, Arkansas
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Mr. Roland McDaniel
Principal, Senior Scientist
GBMC & Associates
Bryant, Arkansas
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Mr. Gene Pharr
Farmer
Lincoln, Arkansas
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Ms. Cyn Sarthou*
Executive Director
Gulf Restoration Network
New Orleans, Louisiana

Mr. Randy Veach
President
Arkansas Farm Bureau
Little Rock, Arkansas
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Mr. Curtis Warner
Director of Compliance & Support
Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation
Little Rock, Arkansas
(Truth in Testimony Form)

* Mr. Greenwald and Ms. Sarthou were invited by the Committee but declined to attend.

Background:

According to the Association of Arkansas Counties (AAC), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposed rule will designate a total of 769.2 river miles in Arkansas as critical habitat for Neosho muckets and rabbitsfoot mussels. The proposed critical habitat designations will directly impact 31 Arkansas counties and the targeted watershed will cover approximately 42% of the entire geographical area of Arkansas. The AAC’s members are concerned that the “proposed critical habitat designation will result in costly and disruptive impacts that may or may not produce corresponding benefits, in part because so little is known about the specific habitat requirements for these species. The Arkansas Environmental Federation, the Arkansas Association of Conservation Districts and the Arkansas Farm Bureau have concerns as well.

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