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For Immediate Release
April 29, 2004

Bush Administration Contributes to

Endangered Species Act Improvement Effort


Washington, DC - The efforts of Chairman Richard W. Pombo (R-CA) and the House Committee on Resources to improve the Endangered Species Act (ESA) were boosted this week by Bush Administration's announcements that will help focus the broken law on species recovery.


Specifically, the administration announced new regulations for endangered species conservation agreements that will enhance cooperative recovery efforts on private lands.  In addition, it has decided to put more emphasis on science and innovation under the ESA by including hatchey-bred fish in population assessments.


"Proactive efforts to focus the Endangered Species Act on results for recovery are really starting to get off the ground," Chairman Pombo said.  "As my committee begins to consider ways to modernize the Act legislatively, the Bush Administration is taking steps to stimulate private conservation and enhance species populations though innovation.  These decisions will help focus the full force of the law on species recovery, which is where the law intended it be."


According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, only twelve of the Act's roughly 1300 protected species have recovered in its thirty-year history.  Unintended consequences and a misguided focus on "listing" species have rendered the ESA an unsustainable, broken law that checks species, but never checks them out.


"If we are going to put this law on track to improve results for recovery, it is going to take conservation, cooperation, and innovation," Pombo said.  "That is exactly what the Resources Committee is focused on, and this week's decisions from the Bush Administration are right on target too.  Species recovery must be our number-one priority."


Yesterday, the Resources Committee heard testimony from more than a dozen expert witnesses on H.R. 2933, the Critical Habitat Reform Act, authored by Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA).  H.R. 2933 merges the critical habitat component of the ESA with the larger effort of recovery planning to increase the regulatory focus on species recovery.


This year the Committee will also consider, H.R. 1662, Sound Science for Endangered Species Act Planning Act, introduced by Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR).



For more information, visit for the report:
The ESA at 30: A Mandate for Modernization


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