FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Kristina Baum – 202.224.6176
Donelle Harder – 202.224.1282
Inhofe Statement for Hearing on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Act
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today released the following statement after the hearing on the president’s FY2016 budget request for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Legislative Hearing on Endangered Species bills.
“Today’s hearing demonstrates a need for increased transparency, local stakeholder involvement, and flexibility by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as well as a call to develop reform legislation on the Endangered Species Act for consideration in the 114th Congress. Over the years it has become increasingly clear that the ESA needs to be improved, and that all of the wisdom on how best to conserve species does not reside in Washington, D.C. As it currently stands, too many of the FWS’ listing decisions are being driven by litigation settlements that were conducted in a manner that left the public without a voice while the science has been simultaneously short circuited. As Gordon Cruickshank, commissioner and chair of Valley County, Idaho, said, without a seat at the table in settling ESA litigation, many local counties do not have the certainty they owe their residents before committing to spend precious taxpayer funds to take a lead in local conservation efforts. Beyond today’s hearing, we’ll be looking for the best ideas on how to make the law more effective, including some that were discussed at today’s hearing. The ESA has long been in need of an update and I look forward to working with my colleagues to generate legislation on ESA reform.”