Skip to Content

Press Release

Republicans Start Comprehensive Look at Bringing Endangered Species Act Into 21st Century

  • WOW Subcommittee

Today, the Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife and Fisheries held a hearing that started the examination of the Endangered Species Act (ESA),  including any improvements that can be made to help species, habitat and people. Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Bentz (R-Ore.) issued the following statement in response:

"2023 marks the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Today’s hearing was the first of a number of hearings this Subcommittee will hold on the ESA. It focused on the need to delist two recovered species – the grey wolf and the grizzly bear. There is no doubt that the bills discussed today need to pass. For far too long, those in urban areas have used the ESA to promote policies that are harmful to rural areas, like Eastern Oregon. This simply cannot continue, and I am proud to say that today we took our first step in ensuring the ESA functions as it should – to protect species while not harming communities and the people who live in them."


As 2023 is the 50th anniversary of the ESA, the House Committee on Natural Resources is working to examine what has worked and what hasn't worked on the act's implementation. 

Delisting gray wolves in the lower 48 has historically had bipartisan support, but has been blocked by environmental groups and frivolous litigation. The Trust the Science Act would reissue the Fish and Wildlife Service's final rule to delist the gray wolf and give states the authority to manage their own wolf population, which has proven successful in the past. 

Similarly, the grizzly bear populations of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem have also significantly exceeded recovery goals and states have petitioned for its delisting. The Grizzly Bear State Management Act and the Comprehensive Grizzly Bear Management Act would reissue the final Fish and Wildlife Service rules to delist these populations and give states the authority to manage their own populations.