Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Endangered Species: Little Improvement 

In what appears to be the first step in an effort to update the Endangered Species Act, the House Committee on Resources chair today released the first comprehensive congressional study of the effects of the 1973 legislation. Richard W. Pombo (R-CA) announced the report, Implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, which calls for changes to the ESA that will hopefully enable better attainment of its established goals.

The report details the less than 1% recovery achievement level of the listed species, the number of reclassified or recovered species whose status was changed due to initial error, the amount of funds that have been expended on consultation and litigation activities instead of actual recovery activities, and the failure of critical habitat designations in aiding recovery due to regulatory inconsistency and "conflicting court rulings."

The report includes several specific recommendations, most of which seem to focus on either cleaning up earlier errors, requiring more detailed analysis be included in Reports to Congress, and making the data more easily accessible for review and research.

Sounds like Fish & Wildlife Service Acting Director Matt Hogan's got his work cut out for him in the coming years.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 2:47 PM