May 31, 2012
Dear Secretary Salazar and Director Ashe:
The Committee on Natural Resources (“Committee”) has jurisdiction over matters involving fisheries and wildlife, including the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (“ESA”), 16 U.S.C. §§ 1531-1599. The goal of the ESA was to preserve, protect and recover key domestic species. However, today the law is failing to achieve its primary purpose of species recovery and instead has become a tool for litigation that drains resources away from real recovery efforts and blocks job-creating economic activities. At the Committee’s February 15, 2012 hearing to consider the Department of the Interior’s (“Department”) FY 2013 budget request, I asked how much the Department spends on litigation and settlements involving the ESA. It is concerning that there was not a readily available answer to this question, and to date, the Department has yet to provide a response.
Read the entire series of letters HERE.