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Press Release

Members Consider ESA Updates and Support for Migratory Waterfowl Habitat

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 14, 2024 | Committee Press Office (202-225-2761)
  • WOW Subcommittee

Today, the Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife and Fisheries held a legislative hearing on four bills to protect migratory waterfowl, provide greater flexibility to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to carry out its responsibilities under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), support manatee conservation and provide straightforward timelines and transparency for businesses subject to regulations under the Lacey Act. Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Bentz (R-Ore.) issued the following statement in response:

"Today's hearing was an important step forward in ensuring government agencies are carrying out their responsibilities to the American people and to America's fish and wildlife. We're also considering legislation to support manatee conservation and to protect migratory waterfowl. These types of commonsense solutions help wildlife and people as we continue our work in this subcommittee. I'd like to thank my colleagues for their legislation and look forward to supporting them as they progress in their effort to move these bills into law."


H.R. 6784, the ESA Flexibility Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Minn.), provides the Secretaries of the Interior and Commerce with greater flexibility in administering the ESA by granting the USFWS and NMFS the authority to promulgate flexible, modified rules for threatened and endangered species.

H.R. 6854, the Habitat Enhancement Now Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Michelle Fishbach (R-Minn.), sets up new grant programs to protect migratory waterfowl in the United States, recognizing the importance of providing landowners the resources and incentives to protect these habitats and wetlands.

H.R. 7157, the Strengthening Wood Product Supply Chains Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. John Duarte (R-Calif.), would provide greater transparency and certainty for businesses subject to regulations under the Lacey Act. Originally, the Lacey Act was passed over concerns about the health of native species and competition from nonnative species, but lacks timelines on certain enforcement actions.

H.R. 3119introduced by U.S. Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.), creates a stamp sold by the United States Postal Service featuring the manatee, to raise funds for the conservation of the species.

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