From: alra@governance.net
Subject: ESA Coming Up In Senate – Pick Your Priorities

Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
PO Box 400 - Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087 - FAX: 360-687-2973
Email: alra@governance.net
Web Address: http://www.landrights.org
Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE - Washington, DC 2000

ESA Coming Up In Senate – Pick Your Priorities

Senate Endangered Species Act (ESA) Priority Questionnaire

*****Action Items Below--

The US Senate is working on a bill to update and modernize the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  It is important that the staff working on the bill know what your priorities are.

This list of principles or positions below is in a very rough order of priority.

Please mark in order of preference your six most important priorities.  The most important would be number one.  The second number two and so on.  Write a new number by your priority

-----1.   Property Rights: The Act should require compensation for regulatory takings. Federal agencies should be subject to a statutorily directed preference for using voluntary, un-coerced contracts with property owners for a temporary lease or agreement to manage land for the benefit of a listed species. A deal is a deal, the government should be bound by any agreement it makes with a landowner.

-----2.   Incentives:  Use Voluntary, Contractual, Compensated Habitat Management that would increase the quality of wildlife habitat while lessening the conservation disincentives contained in current law.  Exempt a property owner from land use regulation when his management practices create or maintain habitat for endangered species. Create an ESA version of the CRP and require a substantial part of funding go to the ESA/CRP program.

-----3.   Make Safe Harbor agreements user friendly and truly safe.

-----4.   The definition of "take" should be changed to require a direct and proximate connection between the action and the loss of a specific individual member of a listed species.

-----5.   Science: The definition of species should incorporate new scientific information on the genetic make-up of species. Require independent peer review of the science used in listing.

-----6.  Require Independent Scientific Review, what some have called “sound science.”  

-----7.  Conservation of subspecies and distinct populations should be actively promoted but these categories should not be covered by the regulatory parts of the Act.  Species that are beneficial or unique should be given priority.

-----8.   Economic Considerations: Base listing decisions on science, but subject any restrictions to consideration of economic and social factors.  Require ECONOMIC IMPACT ANALYSES.

-----9.   A sunset provision should be added to ESA so the act expires after 5 years unless re-authorized. Require species to be re-listed or dropped from the list after 10 years.

-----10.   Requiring completion or amendment of recovery plans before designating critical habitat.

-----11.   Require that any listing or critical habitat designations be based on actual verified field data demonstrating the presence of the species and not based on scientific "hypothesis" that the species may one day be present.

-----12.   Amend the definition of critical habitat to require that FWS find the area itself is essential to the conservation of the species and requires special management measures based on actual verifiable field data and not simply because FWS has found that the species Primary Constituent Elements (PCEs) are present.

-----13.   Require FWS to utilize data developed by State, local and regional wildlife agencies in making Critical Habitat and listing decisions.

-----14.  Require the FWS to work on recovery not just listing more species.

-----15.  Require regionally even enforcement. Fairy shrimp-like crustaceans, for example, occur in eastern metropolitan areas and although they are more endangered than California fairy shrimp, the FWS refuses to list them.

-----16.  Federalism. The general primacy of state authority over wildlife should recognized in ESA.

-----17.   Reimburse agencies for ESA costs from the FWS budget.

-----18.   Place restrictions on introduced, experimental populations.

-----19.   Expedite permits. Secretary must issue or deny within 90 days.

-----20.   Exemptions for human health and safety and permitted activities.

-----21.   Add transparency, openness and privacy protection provisions.

-----22.   Consider, analyze and test alternative recovery strategies.

-----23.   Include landowners in decision-making.

-----24.   Have a no-net-loss of private property provision.

Action Items:

-----A.  Please send back your top six recommendations from above.

-----B.  Please call both your Senators at (202) 224-3121 to urge them to support updating and modernizing the Endangered Species Act.

-----C.  When you call, ask for your Senators fax numbers.  Send them a fax.
Also ask for their e-mail.  Keep it for future reference. 

-----D.  Urge them to include the provisions in the Pombo bill that passed the House in September.  There are a few problems with the Pombo bill and we’ll need to fix those in the Senate.  More about that later.  

-----E.  Send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper urging the readers of the paper to support updating and modernizing the ESA.

Please forward this message as widely as possible.

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