On Thursday of last week (9/29) The House of Representitives passed bill HR3824 (The Threatend and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005) sponsered by Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Cal, rancher, and owner of Pombo Real Estate.Rep. Pombo has been pushing for years to re-vamp the E.S.A. (Endangered Species Act) because in his words it "Forces landowners to protect Plants and Animals" and "Is NOT successful in recovering Species"
"The E.S.A. is in desperate need of an update" says Rep. Pombo. "It has hurt species recovery by leading to the trend we all know as 'Shoot, Shovel, and Shut up' and it has hurt family farmers by taking their land away"
Bill HR3824 would;
*Repeal one of the most important parts of the E.S.A., that being the protection of Critical Habitat.
*Allow the manipulation of Science by letting the Secretary of the Interior (Gale Norton) to define "Best Available Science"
*Eliminate "Check and Balance" system between Wildlife Agencys when reviewing Federal Projects that could further hurt Threatend and Endangered Species
*Exempt Pesticides from review under the E.S.A.
Rep. Pombo tried this once before without success, when he attempted to rewrite the E.S.A. in 1995 with then Rep. Don Young, R of Alaska. That bill (HR 2275) had alot of the same attributes of this new bill, including a section demanding payment to landowners when the law might impact there property. The new bill seems like 1995's version wraped in a new package.
In '95, Biologist Laurie Mc Donald said "Protection of Habitat is the foundation for protecting Species"
(The light at the end of the Tunnel)
The Senates Enviromental and Public Works Sub-Committee has jurisdiction and is chaired by Sen, Lincoln Chafee, R-R.I., who has serious missgivings about Pombo's bill, giving it a much less "rosey" outcome there. Sen. Chafee has plans to move forward with a bill of his own after he recieves recomendations from a study group working in Colorado.
I offer this quote from the original text of the E.S.A. passed in 1973;
"The purpose (of E.S.A.) is to provide a means whereby the Eco-systems upon which Threatend and Endangered Species depend may be conserved, to provide a program for the Conservation of such Threatend and Endangered Species, and to take such steps as may be appropriate to achieve the purpose"
I am in the process of writing to my local Reps. as well as Sen. Chafee urging them to take their time and carefully review what they plan in there policies and recomendations regarding any revisions that may be made to the Endangered Species Act. I urge you as fellow Sports Men and Women to do the same.