February 21, 2006

Crapo Appreciates Initial Keystone Recommendations on ESA

Consensus expected on landowner incentives

Washington, DC â?? A preliminary report issued by the Keystone Center, a resource and environmental studies center with offices in Colorado and Washington, DC, contains promising findings aimed at building consensus to improve the Endangered Species Act (ESA) according to Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). Crapo and Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Arkansas) have introduced S. 2110, the Collaboration for the Recovery of Endangered Species Act, to provide increased incentives for landowners to take part in protecting species.Crapo requested last fall in a letter with Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) and Senators Lincoln Chafee (R-Rhode Island), Hillary Clinton (D-New York) and James Jeffords (I-Vermont) that the Keystone group study finding consensus on improving the ESA. The Keystone Center put together a committee made up of a broad range of industry and environmental professionals from around the country who met in three different work sessions ending last month. Initial reports from the work group indicate consensus may be expected on landowner incentives, cooperative agreements, and tax incentives.â??The Keystone work group found that new incentives for private landowners must be put into law to protect additional habitat for speciesâ?? recovery. The group also said more funding is needed to save species and that a source of funding is already present in many programs offered to landowners under the Farm Billâ??programs that encourage landowners to create and protect habitat so critical to species protection,â?? Crapo said. â??The time to act is now, to build consensus and reauthorize and improve the ESA. I look forward to receiving the final copy of the Keystone report,â?? Crapo concluded.