From: alra@governance.net
Subject: Endangered Species Act (ESA) Vote September 21st

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

Endangered Species Act (ESA) Vote September 21st 

An important message from American Land Rights and the Save Our Species Alliance.

The House Resources Committee will likely vote on a draft bill to update and modernize the Endangered Species Act (ESA) Wednesday, Sept. 21st.   A floor vote is likely shortly thereafter, possibly the next week.

Your Congressman could make or break whether or not the ESA helps people as well as species.

It is vital that you take action immediately!

Action Items:

-----1.  Call, fax and e-mail your Representative in Congress to urge him or her to fight against allowing the Pombo ESA Bill to be watered down.  There is no bill number yet.  Don’t support the status quo.  Don’t support doing nothing. Any Congressman may be called at (202) 225-3121.  If you don’t have your Congressman’s fax number, just ask when you call.

-----2.  Keep calling every day from September 12th.  Watch the newspapers.  You may need to keep calling the following week.   The special interest groups will be calling to stop the bill.  You’ve got to let your Congressman know that the status quo is not satisfactory.  Action is needed now.  

-----3.  Call at least five friends to urge them to call.

-----4.  Please forward this message as widely as possible.

-----5.  If you are within driving distance of Washington, DC. come to the mark-up session.  Send an e-mail to ccushman@landrights.org to get details.  Just write “ESA Mark-up” in the subject line.

For more information, go to www.saveourspeciesalliance.org or www.landrights.org   It is easy to send a message to your Congressman about ESA at the Save Our Species Alliance or Landrights websites.

Here are some key points about the Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005 (TESRA) drafted by Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo (R-CA).  (No bill number yet)


For thirty one years, our nation has been trying to save and recover endangered and threatened species of animals and plants.  The passage of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1973 was the beginning of an historic effort in our nation’s history to recover species whose numbers were dwindling towards extinction.

The intentions of the ESA were good.  However, the reality of this law is that we’ve done a horrible job in actually saving and recovering species.  In those 31 years, we’ve listed almost 1,300 species of animals and plants as endangered or threatened.  In that same time, we’ve recovered only 10 species!  

In the process the ESA has damaged landowners, undermined communities, destroyed jobs and generally turned landowners against species.  

That’s a success rate of less than 1%.  We can do better!  We must do better!

There are several reasons why the ESA has been ineffective in recovering species.  Consider a few:

-----Currently the law does not require a plan to recover a species.  We add a species to the list – but are not required to plan for its recovery.  We spend millions – even billions in taxpayer dollars – but have no roadmap for success.  The law should require such recovery plans.

-----We need to place a greater emphasis on strengthening independent scientific review of species and their habitats.  All too often, federal agencies have relied on poor science without the proper peer review.  In other words, listing decisions have relied too much on “political science” and not enough on “real, independent science”.

-----Private landowners often times have to pay a dear price for species recovery – sometimes with their livelihoods.  With 90% of all listed species being on private lands – we must offer cooperative, incentive-based solutions to species recovery.  Local citizens can solve problems much better than the heavy hand of the federal government!        
It doesn’t have to be that way.  Landowners need to be allies of species.  The only way to do that is to make the ESA an incentive based program, compensate landowners for their losses related to species recovery and encourage them to want to help species by removing the top down command and control ESA regulations that are undermining our economy and destroying jobs. 

What needs to be done to improve species recovery?

Sept. 21st the House Resources Committee will likely vote on legislation to improve and modernize the ESA.  Then it will move to the House Floor.  Many members of Congress realize that a 1% species recovery rate is not good enough.  

They also realize that it’s simply not fair to punish landowners by taking their land when an endangered species is present – without offering some form of compensation or incentives for doing everything possible to protect and recover species.

It boils down to a real need for common sense changes to be made to this well-intended law.

The major special interest groups will criticize this Congressional effort by mis-representing what is trying to be done.  They will say Congress is trying to “gut” the ESA – or that Congress is “trying to pay off their friends in big business” by cutting the heart out of ESA”.

The fact is that nothing could be further from the truth!  If we’re serious as a nation about protecting and recovering species – then we must demand that we do better than 1% success rate!  

Some allies may criticize this bill as not going far enough.  There are those who want 100% or nothing.  There has been nothing for 31 years after numerous tries. It is better to achieve something and actually recover species while saving many landowners who are being crushed by the process.  

You need to contact your member of Congress right away and ask him or her to support the Pombo Bill to improve and modernize the Endangered Species Act.  Ask that he or she be bold and to not be threatened by the powerful, well-funded national special interest organizations or extremists on either side who appear to want to keep the status quo on species protection.

Real people – real communities – real lives have been significantly impacted by the ESA over the past 31 years.  We must bring balance back to the equation so that common sense solutions can be used in recovering species – not endless litigation that has proven to be unsuccessful!

For more information – go to:  www.saveourspeciesalliance.org  or www.landrights.org

The Save Our Species Alliance web site will make it easy for you to make comments to your member of Congress.  So does www.landrights.org.   Just print out and fax the Testimony Questionnaires to your Congressman.   Please act today!  Time is of the essence.  This legislation will likely be before the House of Representatives after September 20th for consideration.  Your help is needed now. 

Thanks in advance for your efforts to improve a law that after 31 years, needs to be modernized and brought up to the times and technology that we now enjoy.

This message is sent to you by the American Land Rights Association, a participant in the Save Our Species Alliance.  American Land Rights can be reached at www.landrights.org.  Or write ccushman@landrights.org.

This is an urgent message.  Please forward it as widely as possible.

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