[Histonet] FW: Anti- Endnagered Specis Bill Introduced into Senate
From: PARC on behalf of Allen Salzberg
Sent: Thu 12/15/2005 2:30 PM
Subject: Anti- Endnagered Specis Bill Introduced into Senate
Senator Crapo (R-ID) Introduces Bill to Undermine Endangered Species Act
Summary from HerpDigest editor - Senator Crapo is sttempting to have his version of Rep. Pombo's, endangered species bill passed by the Senate. Pombo's bill passed the House, it is a bill that every environmental organization agrees only purpose is to eviscerate the esa. So does the Senator's, which is basically the same bill.
The Senator is attempting to do this by avoiding any real debate on his bill, and so possible changes as a result of the debate. Debate that would occcur in the Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water Subcommittee, under the leadership of Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-RI).
The committee is already considering ESA reauthorization of its own, but has committed to developing such legislation only after gathering adequate information, and hearing from agencies, experts and stakeholders.
The Senator is obviously scared of that gathering of this informaton. So the introduction of the Crapo bill is clearly a rush to purposely sidestep that deliberative process.
Links to text of bill and an overview of the bill is enclosed in the following press release supplied by the Center for Biological Diversity.
WASHINGTON, DC-Thursday, December 15, 2005-Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) introduced a bill today aimed at undermining protections for endangered species. The Senate bill, S.2110, cynically titled the "Collaboration and Recovery of Endangered Species Act," would create arbitrary roadblocks to protecting endangered species and habitat, greatly increase delays and political manipulation in conservation decisions, and cuts federal oversight of projects that threaten endangered species. (Overview of the Crapo bill follows below. The text of the bill is available at www.biologicaldiversity.org)
The Crapo bill pays lip service to encouraging landowners to conserve endangered species on private land, and idea long supported by conservation organizations. However, the Crapo bill focuses on giving large tax breaks to large-scale land developers and eliminating habitat protections rather than encouraging or enabling conservation on private land.
"Senator Crapo's proposal alone would be terrible for endangered species conservation," said Melissa Waage, legislative advocate for the Center for Biological Diversity. "But the bill introduced today is part of an even bigger plan to gut the Endangered Species Act by teaming up with Rep. Pombo to adopt the worst provisions of Pombo's House bill behind closed doors."
On September 29, the House passed HR 3824 by Rep. Pombo (R-CA)-a bill that would repeal entire sections of the Endangered Species Act. (A detailed analysis and the text of the Pombo bill are available at www.biologicaldiversity.org.) ESA bills that pass the Senate this year would be referred to a conference committee to be merged with the Pombo bill from the House. The two leaders of such a conference committee would be Rep. Pombo and Senator Inhofe (R-OK), who has an environmental voting score of 0 according to the League of Conservation Voters.
Crapo told E&E TV on October 6: "I think the House [Pombo] bill is a very good bill and although we may not be able to get the necessary 60 votes for every part of the House bill, and I don't know that yet, that doesn't, that wouldn't change my support for the whole bill as is. I mean it's a good bill [the Pombo bill], but my objective here is to make sure that we get a bill that has as much of those reforms that the House [Pombo bill] has and maybe even some more, that we can get consensus on, through the Senate." Crapo has an environmental voting score of 0 according to the League of Conservation Voters.
"Crapo has sponsored a poorly written bill with the worst intentions and terrible implications for wildlife," said Kieran Suckling, policy director of the Center for Biological Diversity. "The Endangered Species Act is the safety net for America's imperiled plants and animals. This bill rips down endangered species protections and creates road blocks to endangered species recovery."
The Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water Subcommittee, under the leadership of Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), is considering ESA reauthorization of its own, but has committed to developing such legislation only after gathering adequate information, and hearing from agencies, experts and stakeholders. The introduction of the Crapo bill today appears to be a rush to purposely sidestep that deliberative process.
The Endangered Species Act protects 1,300 of America's most endangered plants and animals. Originally created in 1973, it has a saved over 99% of these species from extinction including the Bald Eagle, Grizzly Bear, Gray Wolf, Sea Otter, and Grizzly Bear.
Overview of Crapo bill follows.
Overview of S.2110, the "Collaboration and Recovery of Endangered Species Act"
Introduced by Senator Crapo (R-ID) Thursday, December 15, 2005
Creates a Habitat Conservation Shell Game (page 36-41)
The Crapo bill would create an ill-defined conservation bank for developers to buy and sell credits for destroying endangered species habitat. This would allow developers to extensively destroy the habitat for one species in exchange for habitat credits for another species or by purchasing habitat that could never be developed in the first place. There are numerous ways that this would lead to a great loss of habitat and no gain or improvement of any habitat at all.
Delays Protections for Species and Habitat (pages 10-14)
The Crapo bill would delay for three years the listing of imperiled species as threatened and endangered. Current law requires a final listing rule within 12 months of a proposed listing; the Crapo bill would extend that delay to 3 years.
The Crapo bill would delay critical habitat designation until three years after the adoption of a recovery plan. Current law requires critical habitat designated immediately after listing; the Crapo bill would extend that delay to 3 years after adoption of a recovery plan. The Crapo bill sets no deadline for recovery plans.
Undermines Recovery Plans (pages 21-28)
The Crapo bill would create a new convoluted recovery planning process that allows industry to rewrite and overrule the decisions of wildlife experts. A newly created "executive committee" made up of industry interests would make final edits and revisions to the recovery plan developed by scientists and agency biologists. Furthermore, the Crapo bill explicitly makes recovery plans "non-binding and advisory."
Creates Roadblocks to Listing Endangered Species (pages 16-18)
The Crapo bill would create an ambiguous priority system for listing endangered species that includes industry interests. Current law requires endangered species listings to be based solely on the biological needs of the species.
Eliminates Federal Oversight of Endangered Species (page 15)
The Crapo bill would require Fish and Wildlife Service to provide a "provisional permit" for any project on private property (except for "ground clearing") if there is no recovery plan in place. The permit would remain in effect until a habitat conservation plan is approved. This would allow activities like mining and logging in endangered species habitat to proceed indefinitely with no federal oversight.
Restricts Wildlife Agencies from Improving Conservation Agreements (pages 50-53)
The Crapo bill would take "No Surprises"-a highly controversial administrative regulation-and make it law. The Fish and Wildlife Service would be unable to update or revoke a permit (HCP) that authorizes harm to an endangered species, even if new information indicates that the original plan was inadequate and even if it is causing the extinction of the species.
Pays Off Developers to Not Violate the Law (page 56)
The Crapo bill would create tax breaks to compensate private landowners for conservation work done on private property. However, the Crapo bill fails to limit these tax breaks to landowners who engage in active conservation-the creation or enhancement of endangered species habitat. Therefore, land developers who are required to set aside some portion of their land from development would also be eligible for these tax breaks. That is, instead of paying private landowners to create new habitat, the Crapo bill would primarily be paying developers to comply with the law, creating no new habitat.
Center for Biological Diversity December 15, 2005
Contact: Melissa Waage firstname.lastname@example.org 202-736-5760
or Brian Nowicki email@example.com 520-623-5252 x311
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