ESA Working Group Holds Policy Forum With the Western Caucus
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 15, 2023 | Committee Press Office (202-225-2761)
This week, the House Committee on Natural Resources and the Congressional Western Caucus hosted a forum to discuss the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and hear from witnesses from across America.
"This dialogue was an essential step in our efforts to improve the ESA for the benefit of all Americans, not just the environmental lawyers profiting from endless litigation. The testimony we heard from residents across the country made it clear that the ESA is broken and desperately needs to be reformed. I want to thank Representative Newhouse and all of our panelists and members who participated in this forum. I look forward to continuing to work with all participants to develop responsible and reasonable solutions to modernize the ESA and fix this broken policy." - House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.)
"Today we heard from stakeholders representing farmers, ranchers, offshore energy, sportsmen, and small businesses who shared their thoughts on how the ESA can better help recover species while also reducing the regulatory burdens placed on our partners on the ground. As Chairman of the Western Caucus and co-chair of the ESA Working Group, I understand the importance of hearing feedback from folks across the country to hear about their experiences with the ESA. I want to thank our participants, Members, and guests who joined us today for an important discussion that will help inform our working group as we work on ESA reforms going forward." - Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.)
Since Congress enacted the ESA in 1973, approximately 1,700 species have been listed as threatened or endangered, not counting experimental populations. Only 3 percent of these species have been considered recovered and delisted.
This forum provided stakeholders an opportunity to speak directly to members about how the ESA currently impacts farmers, ranchers, landowners, small business owners, and regulated industries. Each participant highlighted issues that affect them and their members. These issues include listing criteria, critical habitat designations, incidental take and the need to modernize the statute to expedite species recovery.
Watch the full forum here.Members of the working group: U.S. Reps. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.), Cliff Bentz (R-Ore.), Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), Jerry Carl (R-Ala.), John Carter (R-Texas), John Duarte (R-Calif.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.), Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) and Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.)
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