From: alra@governance.net
Subject: Resources Committee Votes On New ESA Bill Thursday, Sept. 22nd

Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
PO Box 400 – Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087 – Fax: 360-687-2973 
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Web Address: http://www.landrights.org 
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Resources Committee Votes On New ESA Bill Thursday, Sept. 22nd

Your call could make the difference.
It is vital that you call today your Congressman in support of H.R. 3824.  The Resources Committee will likely vote on the bill Thursday, September 22nd.

Action Items:

-----1.  Call your Congressman at (202) 225-3121.

-----2.  Call at least five of your friends to get them to make calls.

-----3.  Go to http://www.resourcescommittee.house.gov/

-----4.  Forward this message as widely as possible. 

You can vote in this special ESA Poll today:

Poll: What do you think of the Endangered Species Act?

The environmental community is pushing the poll to reflect stronger protections under the ESA are needed. Give Pombo a hand, and VOTE! Takes just a few seconds.  Our folks are WAY BEHIND  in supporting Pombo's effort to change the ESA. Do your part, vote.

Shortcut to: http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/cctimes/

      Bipartisan Coalition Introduces Bill to Improve the Endangered Species Act of 1973 – HR. 3824.

      Washington, DC - At a California news conference today Resources Committee Chairman Richard W. Pombo (R-CA), Reps. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA), Greg Walden (R-OR) and George Radanovich (R-CA) announced the introduction of the bipartisan Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005 (TESRA—H.R. 3824). 

      TESRA fixes the long-outstanding problems of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by: 

(1)	focusing on species recovery 
(2)	providing incentives 
(3)	increasing openness and accountability 
(4)	strengthening scientific standards 
(5)	creating bigger roles for state and local governments 
(6)	protecting private property owners and 
(7)	eliminating dysfunctional critical habitat designations.

            For more information: http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/
            The bill text (TESRA)
            Background and need
            Section by section
      "After three decades of implementation, the ESA has only recovered 10 of the roughly 1,300 species on its list," said Chairman Pombo. "What it has done instead is create conflict, bureaucracy and rampant litigation. It's time to do better. Without meaningful improvements, the ESA will remain a failed managed care program that checks species in but never checks them out. This bill will remove the impediments to cooperation that have prevented us from achieving real results for species recovery in the last 30 years."

      "I am pleased to join my colleagues, Chairman Richard Pombo and Congressman Greg Walden to announce the introduction of the 'Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act'," said Rep. Cardoza. "Over the past 30 years since its introduction, the Endangered Species Act has gone far off course from its original intent. Today, lawsuits and court mandates dictate species recovery, not science. This new bill puts more resources towards recovering species while at the same time creating transparency for those landowners whose land may be needed for species conservation." 

      Cardoza continued, "I believe this bill is an innovative approach to solving the problems with the Act that I have been working on for the last two and a half years and I look forward to moving this bill quickly though Congress"

      Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR):

      "This 32-year old law needs the fix we're offering in a bi-partisan way today. It's time to make the federal agencies charged with administering this law open up their process to the public. It's time to set standards to make sure the data they use represent the best scientific data available. It's time to reach out to private property owners and states to protect their rights and encourage their participation in recovery efforts. And it's time to make sure no region of the country ever suffers again as the Klamath Basin did when faulty decisions by the government led to disaster."

      Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA): 

      "This legislation is important for Inland Empire communities. By removing burdensome regulations and disincentives for landowners and providing compensation for land that cannot be used for development, this legislation will allow our communities to benefit and to create jobs."

      Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA):

      "I commend Chairman Pombo for all of his hard work in developing this crucial bipartisan legislation to improve the Endangered Species Act (ESA). I am proud to be a cosponsor of the bill, which will bring commonsense to the implementation of the ESA in my congressional district, our state, and the nation."

      "We have learned a lot since passage of the ESA in 1973. As a result of the lessons we've learned, Chairman Pombo's bill includes language to better protect and recover species in need. It also encourages landowners to safeguard species on their property. Instead of being punished, as they often are under the current ESA, property owners will be respected and provided incentives to protect species under this bill."

      Original Cosponsors of TESRA, H.R. 3824


Mr. Pombo
Mr. Walden           
Mr. Radanovich
Mrs. Cubin
Mr. Gibbons
Miss McMorris
Mr. Henry Brown of South Carolina
Mr. Graves

Mr. Cardoza	
Mr. Berry
Mr. Ross
Mr. Baca
Mr. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi
Mr. Costa

      The Committee on Resources held a hearing on H.R. 3824 Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. in 1324 Longworth House Office Building. 



ANALYSIS of  H.R. 3824

Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005 (TESRA)

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.   

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