PPRC Position Paper on the Endangered Species Act
Forest products industry employees support Endangered Species Act (ESA) reform. Protecting truly endangered species is in the best interests of the public. The regulations established to implement these interests should be based on sound science, not political science. The impact on people, property, and jobs should be evaluated when making the regulations.
- The PPRC supports the current 4(d) rules as they pertain to the Northern Long Eared Bat endangered listing, to help prevent further declines while reducing undue regulatory burden. In the case of the bat, this would allow landowners to continue to operate as they are now, while allowing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to focus primarily on the root cause of the species’ decline – white-nosed syndrome.
- The ESA should be modernized and updated with congressional oversight on the social and economic cost of an ESA listing by reintroducing 115th Congress’ R. 717. Any listing should be based on objective and verifiable science with flexibility giving states and local governments a greater role in all ESA decisions.
- The PPRC supports limiting the definition of threatened and endangered “species” to those species which are biologically unique, excluding those that are only geographically isolated from other populations of the same species.
- The PPRC believes the ESA is about recovery of a species, not only about preventing extinction, therefore the act should be amended to ensure that the species will not be listed until a recovery plan is developed and appropriations are approved.
- The PPRC supports access to information used by the government in the ESA decision-making process.
- The PPRC feels that to simplify the process and make the ESA work, endangered species decisions should be based on sound science and include a peer review of listing and recovery decisions.
- The PPRC feels that true scientific facts and field data should be weighed more heavily than computer modeling.
- Private property owners should be compensated when the ESA diminishes property values.