From: alra@governance.net
Subject: House Resources Passes ESA 26 to 12.

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

House Resources Passes ESA 26 to 12.

Congress Will Vote Shortly On New Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005 (TESRA-HR 3824) –

It passed the House Resources Committee by a margin of 26 to 12.  Wow, what a vote.

A Floor vote expected this coming week -- Call Your Congressman All Next Week.

You Can Make History – ESA Vote In Full Congress Shortly

There is light at the end of the tunnel to our long national nightmare.  The Endangered Species Act looks like it finally may be fixed so that it protects landowners and Federal land users as well as species.   Whether it finally passes the House of Representatives or not could depend on whether you and your friends and associates make your calls to your Congressman to support HR 3824.

Property rights organizations came together at the last moment to support this new version of the Pombo ESA bill introduced in Congress Monday, September 19th.  Some of these groups had been in disagreement over their view of an early draft.    But the final version satisfied nearly everyone.

On Thursday, September 22nd, the House Resources Committee marked-up the new HR 3824 and passed it by a margin of 26 to 12 to create what most private property advocacy groups thought was an excellent start at recognizing the failures of the ESA and making significant changes to help fix it.

So far there is great success.  Since the Kelo Supreme Court Decision in Connecticut, more people and Members of Congress are aware of private property concerns.  Urban Members of Congress are beginning to take an interest.  Even members of the Congressional Black Caucus are now supporting the property rights provisions in the newly drafted Pombo ESA bill.

The vote on the House floor affects you, your job, your community and the protection of Endangered Species.  Don’t sit on the sidelines.  You can make history by calling your Congressman now.   

Your call could make the difference to your Congressman.    The full House of Representatives is expected to vote in the next few days.

Action Items:

-----1.  Call your Congressman at (202) 225-3121.  Keep calling.  Keep the pressure on.  He or she must hear from you.

-----2.  Send a note or an e-mail report back to American Land Rights to let us know how your Congressman says he will vote on HR 3824.  E-mail it to: ccushman@landrights.org    

-----3.  Call every Congressman in your state.

-----4.  Go to http://www.resourcescommittee.house.gov/    for a complete copy of the bill, background and need, plus a section by section analysis.  

-----5.  Please forward this message as widely as possible.


The Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005 updates and improves the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by:

-----1.  Providing for the use of the best available scientific data in all decisions;

-----2.  Replacing the critical habitat program with a more integrated recovery planning process that includes the identification of specific areas that are of special value to the conservation of the species which are then given priority in recovery efforts;

-----3.  Providing for active implementation of recovery plans through implementation agreements between the Secretary and other federal agencies where the federal agency agrees to implement programs and projects identified in the recovery plans;

-----4.  Ensuring a “species-specific” approach to establishing “take” prohibitions for threatened species under Section 4(d) by making the issuance of such regulations permissive rather than mandatory, focusing such rules on the application of “take” prohibitions for such threatened species; and requiring, in most instances, a species-specific Section 4(d) rule;

-----5.  Increasing the role for States by:

-----a.  ensuring that a Governor and responsible State agencies are provided full notice and opportunity to comment on  ESA decisions affecting their State;
-----b.  developing recovery plan goals for species on a state-by-state basis and improving the State cooperative agreement provisions of Section 6 to cover candidate species and other species of concern; and

-----c.  clarifying the treatment of Section 6 cooperative agreement activities under the consultation provisions of Section 7 and take prohibitions of Sections 4(d) and 9.

-----6.  Improving the Section 7 consultation process by:

-----a.  authorizing the development of alternative consultation procedures that are consistent with the existing consultation provisions;

-----b.  providing more certainty to the “jeopardy” standard by providing that jeopardy exists where “the action reasonably would be expected to significantly impede, directly or indirectly, the conservation in the long-term of the species in the wild;”

-----c.  ensuring that permit and license applicants fully participate in the consultation process; and
-----d.  clarifying that terms and conditions to avoid incidental take imposed under Section 7 should be roughly proportional to the impact of the identified incidental take.

-----7.  Establishing new incentives for voluntary conservation efforts including:

-----a.  Species Recovery Agreements which will allow landowners to enter into species recovery agreements for terms of no less than five years to carry out activities that protect and restore habitat for covered species and contribute to the recovery of listed species;

-----b.  Species Conservation Contract Agreements which establish agreements with terms of 30 years, 20 years, and 10 year for the implementation of a management plan for endangered, threatened and candidate species as well as other species comparably designated under State law;

-----c.  Authorization of technical assistance and management training to support enrollment in Species Recovery Agreements and Species Conservation Contract Agreements; and

-----d.  Establishment of a conservation grants program to promote voluntary conservation of listed species on private property and to provide financial compensation to alleviate the burden of conservation measures imposed upon private property owners.

-----8.  Codifying the No Surprises/Assurances policy for persons developing habitat conservation plans;  

-----9.  Improving the habitat conservation plan procedures under Section 10 by ensuring that plans include objective, measurable goals to be achieved for the species, monitoring procedures and adaptive management provisions to respond to reasonably foreseeable changed circumstances in a species status;

-----10.  Providing certainty for private property owners by allowing landowners to request a written determination as to whether their land use activities will violate the take prohibitions of Section 9, granting the landowner incidental take coverage where the written determination is that they comply with Section 9 and giving a mechanism for compensating the private property for foregone use of his property where the determination is that the activity would violate the take prohibitions;
-----11.  Compensating private property owners for the fair market value of loss of use for foregone use of their property where the Secretary has determined that the use of that property would constitute a “take” under Section 9 and the activity is not otherwise determined a “nuisance” under principles of property and nuisance law;

-----12  Ensuring public accountability by requiring the Secretary maintain a publicly accessible website that includes: (1) endangered and threatened species lists; (2) all final and proposed endangered and threatened species regulations issued under Section 4; (3) draft and final recovery plans; (4) the results of five year status reviews; and (5) all Reports and supporting data to Congress required under what would be the recovery planning provisions of Section 5 and the Annual Cost Analysis under Section 18; and   

-----13.  Providing for annual and biennial reports to Congress on the status of listed species as well as expenditures for species recovery efforts.   

The Race is on to get the votes to fix the ESA in Congress

There you have it.  HR 3824 is a huge improvement over a preliminary draft that some people saw in June.  It will be a big step toward making the Endangered Species Act responsive to the needs of private landowners, businesses and Federal land users.

Now all of us must get it passed by Congress.  This is a huge job.  American Land Rights has sent hundreds of thousands of e-mails, faxes and letters.  Many more will be required to get the bill passed on the House floor and then through the Senate.

Your help is vital. This is probably our only chance for a generation to fix the ESA.  We have the right President and generally the right Congress.  But there must be an uprising of support from you and other landowners to get HR 3824 over the top.
     Congress is voting on the Endangered Species Act.   Without your involvement, the process could go wrong.  You could lose even more.  Yet there is a good chance to make changes to the ESA that will protect landowners and save more species.   Instead of saving species, the ESA has become a weapon the giant green land grabbers use to attack landowners of all kinds.  It has got to stop now. 
     The Endangered Species Act undercuts the economic strength of America.  It continually makes you and the country less competitive.  It causes wide scale economic damage.  Help put a stop to the abuse.

Your calls and faxes can be the difference.  

The Endangered Species Act can finally be fixed. 

It doesn’t work.  It has saved only 10 species out of 1300 listed.  A terrible failure rate.  

Please make your calls.

Please, also forward this message as widely as possible.

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