October 7, 2014
House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) along with 17 Members of Congress sent a letter to the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Dan Ashe, urging the Service to extend the comment period for the proposed critical habitat designation of the western yellow-billed cuckoo. This proposed listing, driven by a 2011 court mega-settlement and not by sound science, would have devastating negative effects on small businesses, farmers, ranchers, forest management, and American energy production in nine states throughout the West.
“While we oppose this proposed listing proposal, we find it completely unacceptable that the FWS has proposed only 60 days of public comment with no public hearings, effectively shutting out meaningful public comment on a sweeping critical habitat designation proposal of the yellow-billed cuckoo,” wrote Members in the letter. “These habitat designations will cost $3.2 million per year for hundreds of new federal permitting requirements associated with landowners, states and local governments’ activities in designated habitat areas. It is hard to believe that this would not cost much more in direct and indirect costs, regulatory delays and other impediments to vital economic activities.”
This proposal would impact 546,335 acres in more than 65 counties in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. The proposed rule would designate habitat in areas where the cuckoo doesn’t even currently exist.
To view the letter, click here.
Printable PDF of this Document