Hearing on ESA Bills
On September 26, the House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on the nine bills introduced by members of the Western Caucus that would reform the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Chairman Rob Bishop’s (R-UT) opening remarks cited a poll conducted by Morning Consult which showed that 73 percent of the American people support updating the ESA. “The bills we are hearing today improve the law for the betterment of species and betterment of communities,” said Bishop.
Of the nine bills introduced by the Western Caucus, four were moved forward following a full-committee markup on September 27. These are: H.R. 3608, The Endangered Species Transparency and Reasonableness Act, to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to require publication on the Internet of the basis for determinations that species are endangered species or threatened species; H.R. 6345, the EMPOWERS Act of 2018, to provide for greater county and state consultation with regard to petitions under the Endangered Species Act of 1973; H.R. 6346, the WHOLE Act of 2018, to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to provide for consideration of the totality of conservation measures in determining the impact of proposed federal agency action and; H.R. 6355, the PETITION Act of 2018, to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to define petition backlogs and provide expedited means for discharging petitions during such a backlog.The House Natural Resources Committee additionally moved forward H.R. 6784, Manage Our Wolves Act, which provides for the removal of the gray wolf in the contiguous 48 states from the ESA list.