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ESA Hearing and comments
5/9/07 Oregonians for Food an Shelter

An important hearing will be held today by the House Natural Resources Committee regarding the Endangered Species Act.  According to the Committee web site, the hearing is to conduct oversight on the "Endangered Species Act Implementation: Science or Politics?"  The hearing will take place at 10:00 a.m. (EST) / 7:00 a.m. (PST).  The hearing will be web cast and you can listen in at the following site: http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/  

To make your point of view known, we also encourage you to contact Lori Sonken, the Natural Resources Committee staff person in charge of this hearing and the ESA issue for Chairman Nick Rahall (D-WV).  Ms. Sonken can be reached at lori.sonken@mail.house.gov or via phone at 202-226-0206.  Also, any comments you send in, please include us so we have a record of what was submitted.   

Below is a list of witnesses invited to testify at the hearing tomorrow:

Panel 1:

The Honorable P. Lynn Scarlett, Deputy Secretary, Department of the Interior

Ms. Jamie Rappaport Clark, Executive Vice President, Defenders of Wildlife

Dr. Francesca Grifo, Ph.D., Senior Scientist and Director of Scientific Integrity Program, Union of Concerned Scientists

Mr. Jeff Ruch, Executive Director, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility

Panel 2:

Dr. Dominick A. DellaSala, Ph.D., Executive Director, Conservation Science & Policy, National Center for Conservation Science & Policy

Ms. Judith Rodd, Director, Friends of Blackwater

Mr. John Young, Retired Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Mr. William P. Horn, Birch, Horton, Bittner & Cherot

Dr. Matthew Cronin, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Palmer Research Center

As most of you know, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill last Congress to update and modernize the 30-year-old Endangered Species Act (the bipartisan Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act), however the Senate did not take any action on the issue.  As we know from the unjustified water shut-off to farmers and ranchers in the Klamath Basin in 2001, events resulting from government decisions can have a devastating impact not just on family operations but also on surrounding communities and the very species the ESA is supposed to protect.  This was much-needed legislation that made common sense updates to the 30-year-old ESA and included Congressman Walden's provision requiring peer-reviewed science in the government decision-making process.


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