WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Dan Newhouse (R-WA), Chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus, and the House Committee on Natural Resources launched an Endangered Species Act Working Group. The Working Group will seek to examine how the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is being implemented by federal agencies, the practical impacts on the American people, how litigation is driving ESA decision-making, and how success is defined under the ESA. The goal of the Working Group will be to publish a series of policy recommendations that reform the ESA to the benefit of the American people and species conservation.
“Only in the federal government would five percent be deemed a passing grade, but that is exactly how ‘successful’ the Endangered Species Act has been at recovering species,” said Rep. Newhouse. “It is clear the ESA is in desperate need of reform, not only for the sake of our species, but for the men and women of Central Washington who are negatively impacted by its land use restrictions, impact on property values, and costly permitting requirements. I am proud to launch this working group with House Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman to work towards providing tangible, actionable solutions to the ESA for the betterment of the American people and species recovery.”
“The Endangered Species Act is a well-intentioned but entirely outdated piece of legislation which must be brought into the 21st Century. With hundreds of species being listed under the Endangered Species list but with a dismal 3% having been delisted, clearly something is not working. It’s time to take action,” said House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-AR). “Today, we’re formally launching the Endangered Species Working Group with members from the House Committee on Natural Resources and the Western Caucus to take the first significant action on this legislation since the 1980s. This year is the 50th anniversary of the ESA, and since its creation it has been twisted and morphed by radical litigants into a political firefight rather than an important piece of conservation law. I’d like to thank Congressman Newhouse and the other members of this working group for taking these initial steps to modernize this archaic law.”
Members of the Working Group include Reps. Bruce Westerman (R-AR), Mark Amodei (R-NV), Cliff Bentz (R-OR), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Harriet Hageman (R-WY), John Duarte (CA-13), Judge Carter (R-TX), Jerry Carl (R-AL), and Lauren Boebert (R-CO).
Since Congress enacted the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1973, approximately 1,700 species have been listed as threatened or endangered, not counting experimental populations. Only three percent of these species have been considered recovered and delisted. In addition, the Biden Administration has taken steps to undo the critical work done by the Trump Administration to reform the ESA. This has left stakeholders and members of Congress frustrated and substantially increased the appetite to find targeted and sustainable reforms to the ESA.

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