– Congressman David G. Valadao (CA-21) and Members of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) Congressional Working Group today released its final Report, Findings and Recommendations.
The report is the culmination of the Working Group’s eight-month effort to examine the ESA from a variety of viewpoints and angles, receive input on how the ESA was working and being implemented, and how and whether it could be updated to be more effective for both people and species. The report reflects hundreds of comments from outside individuals and testimony from nearly 70 witnesses who appeared before a Working Group forum and House Natural Resources Committee hearings.
The report concludes that “After more than 40 years, sensible, targeted reforms would not only improve the eroding credibility of the Act, but would ensure it is implemented more effectively for species and people.”
Congressman Valadao stated, “While it is important to protect endangered species, we must ensure we prioritize the needs of humans over animals.” He continued, “This report is a starting point for constructive discussion on how we can make improvements to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to better serve all Americans.”
The report recommends constructive changes to the ESA in the following four categories:
1. Ensuring Greater Transparency and Prioritization of ESA with a Focus on Species Recovery and Delisting
2. Reducing ESA Litigation and Encouraging Settlement Reform
3. Empowering States, Tribes, Local Governments and Private Landowners on ESA Decisions Affecting Them and Their Property
4. Requiring More Transparency and Accountability of ESA Data and Science