From: alra@governance.net
Subject: Congressional ESA Hearing In Jackson A Success

Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
PO Box 400 – Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087 – Fax: 360-687-2973 
E-mail: alra@landrights.org or alra@governance.net 
Web Address: http://www.landrights.org 
Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE – Washington, DC 20003

Congressional ESA Hearing In Jackson A Success

Don’t forget.  You have a little over a week to get your testimony into the Resources Committee for the record on the Endangered Species Act.

The Resources Committee will allow testimony to be filed up to ten working days (two weeks) after the hearing date of April 30th.  So please take the time today to get on the record.

Go to www.landrights.org  -- on the home page you can obtain copies of four Testimony Questionnaires.  

You can pick one or all of the Testimony Questionnaires.  They are all different.  But there will be some duplication between them.

The main point is for you to protect your future rights by getting on the record on the ESA.  Under the law, if you face an Endangered Species Act conflict in the future and you have failed to testify or comment as the process moves along, you could lose rights under a legal concept called “laches” or “sleeping on your rights.”

So fax or e-mail your testimony to the Resources Committee.

You can fax it to (202) 225-5929.  E-mail it to:  resources.committee@mail.house.gov  A one page letter will do.  

Or go to www.landrights.org and print out one or more of the Testimony Questionnaires listed there right on the home page.

Be sure to tell as many friends and associates as you can about their opportunity to testify.  It will only take them a few minutes and will make a big difference.

About the hearing . . . . . 

Jackson, Mississippi was the scene of the first Congressional field hearing on ESA on Saturday, April 30th.  Over 150 local citizens came to the Mississippi Museum of Science to listen to two panels of witnesses describe to the committee their concerns and suggestions for making positive, productive changes to the federal Endangered Species Act.

Overseeing the hearing were Rep. Richard Pombo (CA), who chairs the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Resources.  Also in attendance were U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (ID) and Rep. Chip Pickering (MS).  

The witness panels consisted primarily of southern residents who came with stories about the ESA is starting to impact their ability to manage and maintain their properties, businesses and jobs.

The overwhelming message that came from the hearing was that incentives for landowners – cooperation between the government and landowners – as well as more local control over decision making…are far more productive in recovering species than the current heavy hand of the federal government.

It was noted time and again that the ESA is failing miserably at actually recovering species – with only 10 being recovered of the nearly 1,300 listed over the past 31 years the Act has been in existence.  

All three members of Congress stated clearly that the Act is not working and must be fixed to better protect species AND property owners.  

Randy Bowen of the Pulp & Paperworkers Resource Council spoke to the committee about how the Act is starting to impact jobs in the South.  He stated, “For years, this was an issue that only impacted the Pacific Northwest.  But now its starting to impact working men and women in the South and all across the country.  It’s these jobs that provide community tax dollars for schools, roads and local services.  If we don’t consider the human impact – we’re making a big mistake.”

Of note, Ray Vaughan of Wild Law, an environmental organization who served on one of the panels…reported that he was strongly encouraged by some of the nation’s top environmental groups NOT to participate and testify at the hearing.  This says a great deal about the true objectives of some of the nation’s leading environmental organizations.  Is it about species protection or some other agenda?

The next ESA hearing will take place in Washington, D.C. on May 19th and will be hosted by the Senate Environment and Public Works sub-committee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Water.  

Call American Land Rights for more information at (360) 687-3087 or write:
< ccushman@landrights.org >

Please forward this message as widely as possible.

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