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 PRESS RELEASE: The House Committee on Resources 9/22/05

Bipartisan Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005: Approved Overwhelmingly by Committee

Washington, DC - The House Committee on Resources overwhelmingly approved the Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act (TESRA) of 2005 today by a bipartisan vote, 26-12.  

Background and Need of TESRA

"Having this much bipartisan support coming from the committee sends a very strong signal to the rest of the House," Chairman Pombo said. "Improving this law for the 21st century has become a conservative, liberal and commonsense cause for this Congress. This bill will help turn three decades of conflict into real cooperation for species conservation and recovery."

Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA):

"I am co-sponsoring the Endangered Species Recovery Act because I believe the ESA should be enhanced and refocused on its original goal - species recovery.  Since the passage of the ESA over 30 years ago, it has been diverted from that goal, and is increasingly driven by litigation, not science.  I am confident that this bill will strengthen the ability of ESA to recover species, while reducing the burden on local economies and landowners."

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX):

"It is high time that we act to correct yet another piece of well intentioned legislation that has transformed our environmental policies into a legal nightmare for private landowners. Hopefully, this will reintroduce some sanity to a law that is, by all insightful accounts, broken in its current form. It is also gratifying to have so many Democrats join in with the efforts to make common sense a part of the law. Chairman Pombo deserves a Congressional Medal of Persistence and Patience."

Rep. Cathy McMorris (R-WA):

"Today we took a big step forward in restoring common sense solutions to the ESA and helping our region's economy. This bill will help facilitate the relationship between protecting those species that are truly endangered and using our natural resources and our land. We have seen first hand the impact that the Endangered Species Act has had on our river systems in the Pacific Northwest. This bill will help us move away from litigation, lawsuits and punitive settlements, and allow us to better recover species by providing incentives, employing peer-reviewed standards data based on objective scientific practices, and compensating private property owners for lost use of land."

Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA):

"Today's Committee vote is an important step forward in our bipartisan effort to bring common sense back to the implementation of the Endangered Species Act. This much-needed legislation brings meaningful improvements to the Act by providing for the use of the best available scientific data in all decisions as well as including language that would better protect and recover species in need."

Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR):

"Our over-arching goal with this legislation is to make the law more successfully achieve the goals that were established 32 years ago when it was enacted, and I appreciate the support of the House Resources Committee through their approval today. These modest changes would bring tangible and positive results for the environment and the people we represent through improved scientific requirements in decision making, prioritization of species in need, protection of private property rights, and a streamlined process that will be open and accountable to the public."

Rep. Barbara Cubin (R-WY):

"We need to encourage private property owners to take part in the process. This bill provides incentives to private property owners to come to the table and it will force the federal government to respect the property rights of farmers, ranchers and landowners." 

Rep. John Peterson (R-PA):

"I think most reasonable folks can agree that a thorough and careful update of the Act is a good thing, and will go a long way toward ensuring its future viability. I'm glad that after three decades we were finally able to deliver that update - influenced by established science, and guided by basic tenets of commonsense."

Rep. Jim Gibbons (R-NV):

"The current law is simply not working. A less than 1 percent recovery rate is unacceptable, and we can do better. This legislation will foster a more collaborative relationship between landowners, state governments, the federal government, and all other stakeholders to create effective recovery plans based on sound science. This collaborative process is necessary if we are going to truly protect and recover our endangered species." 

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