WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today welcomed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s final decision to remove the Bald Eagle from under the Endangered Species Act.
"Today’s announcement to remove the Bald Eagle from protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) recognizes decades of great work done by all levels of government, private industry and local landowners to ensure our majestic national symbol did not disappear," Senator Inhofe said. "Since the Bald Eagle was added to the list in 1974, it has made a remarkable comeback, now boasting population numbers not seen since World War II."
"I am concerned, however, about the recent guidelines issued under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA) that will go into effect when ESA protection is removed. It appears that in some cases the guidelines place the same, ESA-like limitations on the backs of landowners under the guise of different law. We need to ensure that when an animal is taken off the ESA list, burdensome restrictions on property owners are removed as well. I hope to work with the Fish and Wildlife Service as they continue to finalize and implement these guidelines."
"What is more troubling are those voices still insisting that the Bald Eagle remain listed despite their thriving populations and their continuing federal protection under BGEPA and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The opposition to delisting the eagle reveals how certain groups care more about using the ESA to stop development and line their pockets with money from lawsuits, than with actually recovering species. There are many other species that are recovering and should be considered for delisting and I hope that the administration steps up the review process to determine which other species should join the Bald Eagle."