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Newhouse Endangered Species Act Reform Bill Moves Forward

October 4, 2017
Press Release
Newhouse legislation to require transparency in federal ESA decisions approved in committee

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) released the following statement after his legislation, H.R. 1274, the State, Tribal, and Local Species Transparency and Recovery Act, was approved in a House Natural Resources Committee markup. During the markup, H.R. 1274 was also amended to include the text of Rep. Newhouse’s legislation, H.R. 1273:

“Today’s markup of my legislation to modernize the Endangered Species Act is a great step forward to improve transparency in endangered species listing decisions,” said Rep. Newhouse. “In Central Washington, the listing of gray wolves and potential listing of grizzly bears have enormous ramifications for local communities. I am grateful to my colleagues on the Natural Resources Committee for their support. This legislation ensures the use of sound science and that state and local stakeholders are given access to data used in listing decisions. Additionally, it requires federal agencies to consider state, local, and tribal input on listing decisions.”

In July, Rep. Newhouse testified before the House Natural Resources Committee at a legislative hearing on his bill to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) to require the federal government to disclose to affected states all data used prior to any ESA listing decisions and require that the “best available scientific and commercial data” used by the federal government include information provided by affected states, tribes, and local governments.

An earlier version of H.R. 1274 passed the House in the 113th Congress.

Rep. Newhouse introduced H.R. 1274 and H.R. 1273 on March 1. H.R. 1274, the State, Tribal, and Local Species Transparency and Recovery Act, was cosponsored by Reps., Ralph Abraham (R-LA), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Greg Gianforte (R-MT), Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Gregg Harper (R-MS), Walter Jones (R-NC), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Steve Pearce (R-NM), Pete Sessions (R-TX), Scott Tipton (R-CO), and Ted Yoho (R-FL).

H.R. 1273, the 21st Century Endangered Species Transparency Act, was cosponsored by Reps. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Greg Gianforte (R-MT), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Gregg Harper (R-MS), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Steve Pearce (R-NM), Jason Smith (R-MO), and Scott Tipton (R-CO). H.R. 1273 would update the ESA by requiring federal agencies to make data used for ESA decisions publicly available on the Internet. It would also ensure the proper use of taxpayer funds by putting a cap on attorneys’ fees.