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Newhouse Introduces WHOLE Act to Modernize Endangered Species Act

January 13, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) introduced H.R. 5588, the Weigh Habitats Offsetting Locational Effects Act of 2020 (WHOLE Act), as part of an ongoing legislative effort to strengthen and modernize the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Under current law, only conservation efforts taking place within the critical habitats of endangered or threatened species are considered during environmental review or impact studies of federal actions. The WHOLE Act would amend the Endangered Species Act to ensure that all conservation measures are considered when federal decisions that impact ESA-listed species are being made.

“As we know all-too-well in Central Washington, Endangered Species Act listing and delisting decisions have huge, lasting impacts on local communities and environments,” said Rep. Newhouse. “By establishing a process that considers the totality of conservation efforts, we incentivize private investment in species recovery, streamline federal decision-making, and promote the comprehensive efforts of states, local communities, and tribes across the West.” 

Click here to read the text of the WHOLE Act.

The full list of original cosponsors includes: Rep. Gianforte (MT-AL), Rep. Gosar (AZ-04), Rep. McClintock (CA-04), Rep. Crawford (AR-01), Rep. LaMalfa (CA-01), Rep. Cheney (WY-AL), Rep. Norman (SC-05), and Jason Smith (MO-08)

The WHOLE Act is one piece of a larger ESA reform package spearheaded by the Congressional Western Caucus, comprised of 18 bills introduced by Members from across the rural West and beyond.

The following organizations have endorsed the package: National Endangered Species Act Reform Coalition, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Home Builders, National Rural Electrical Cooperative Association, Western Energy Alliance, National Association of Counties, Family Farm Alliance, American Agri-Women, American General Contractors Association, National Cotton Council, National Mining Association, Independent Petroleum Association of America