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Pombo, Cardoza: Keystone Center Reaffirms Need to Update and Modernize the ESA

Group Makes Recommendations Similar to House-Passed TESRA

, DC
-The Keystone Center announced the completion of its review of potential improvements to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in a letter written to and released by Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) Tuesday. House Resources Committee Chairman Richard W. Pombo (R-CA) and Congressman Dennis Cardoza (D-CA), who successfully led ESA reform efforts in the House last year, issued the following statements regarding the Keystone Center's conclusions:

"The Keystone Center's letter to the Senate reaffirmed the 229 House Members who voted to update and modernize the ESA," Pombo said. "In fact, it reaffirmed the views of all 415 Members who voted to make significant improvements to the 33-year-old ESA last year, whether those updates were in the House-passed bill or the substitute that was considered as an alternative.  One thing is certainly clear: it is not a question of IF, it is a question of HOW, and I look forward to working with the Senate to get this job done."

"I am very pleased that the Keystone Group has echoed the sentiments of the U.S. House of Representatives on the need to reform the Endangered Species Act," said Cardoza. "The Keystone Group's recommendations reinforce what I have long believed: the Endangered Species Act needs to be modernized and refocused on its original goal - species recovery." 

While the Keystone's Center's recommendations are "conceptual," they serve as recognition of and reinforcement for the need to improve the ESA's effectiveness for species at risk, to make government activities more efficient and to reduce the concerns of regulated parties, especially American landowners.  These are principles on which there is consensus and which are addressed in Cardoza and Pombo's House-passed Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005 (TESRA).  The House and the Keystone Center, by request of the Senate, are on record supporting the need to improve the ESA.

TESRA addresses many of the key areas Keystone conceptually addresses. Just a few of the similarities in the House bill and Keystone's recommendations are:

  • "a greater focus on function, content, scope and mechanics of recovery plans" by requiring - for the first time -  that recovery plans be produced on schedule and providing an improved framework for plan content and development;
  •  "more effective incentives" with entirely new provisions for agreements, contracts, grants and aid to foster recovery while reducing the burden on landowners;
  •  "integrating habitat protection and conservation into the ESA" by eliminating wasteful and litigious critical habitat process, identifying habitat of special conservation value within recovery plans and making the habitat conservation plan process more effective and;
  • a "clearer more effective role for the states" giving states a leading role in the recovery planning process.

Click here to learn more about the Endangered Species Act and TESRA.






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