Newhouse, Neugebauer Introduce Endangered Species Act Reform Legislation

May 15, 2015
Press Release
Bill increases transparency and gives communities a greater say during the ESA listing process.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), Vice Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, and other members of the House Endangered Species Act Working Group, introduced H.R. 2352, the State, Tribal, and Local Species Transparency and Recovery Act. This legislation would 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 data provided by affected states, tribes, and local governments.

“This bill recognizes the importance of input from state and local governments while providing much-needed transparency in the Endangered Species Act process,” said Rep. Newhouse. “The federal government should be required to give due consideration to the best available science and to justify data used to list species under ESA to affected states, localities, and tribes. I am pleased to join Rep. Neugebauer in introducing legislation to improve the listing process under the Endangered Species Act.”

“For far too long, bureaucrats in Washington have used the Endangered Species Act to bring heavy-handed regulations to hardworking farmers, ranchers, and business owners in West Texas and the Big Country. These regulations are incredibly expensive and can greatly harm future opportunity in the communities most impacted. We must ensure that the federal government is using the best available science to evaluate whether a listing is necessary or if other conservation efforts will be successful. My bill increases transparency by expanding access to the data used to justify a listing and gives communities across America a greater say in the ESA listing process. I look forward to working with my colleagues to move this common sense bill into law,” said Rep. Neugebauer.

H.R. 2352 requires the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to provide states with the data they are using to justify their listing decisions, which increases transparency and the opportunity for community engagement.  Additionally, it requires FWS and NMFS to consider scientific data submitted by state and local governments before making a determination.