January 28, 2005

Crapo Details ESA Reform Agenda for 2005

Issues challenge to interest groups to make updating ESA a priority

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo set forward his plans for updating and strengthening the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the 109th Congress during a video conference this afternoon with the Business Summit of the West sponsored by the Western Business Roundtable. He issued a challenge to the interest groups involved with the issue to get involved in the process and collaborate in reaching some consensus solutions. Crapo plans to introduce a bill that would speed recovery and be fair for property rights. In remarks before the group, Crapo said he will build on the core idea developed in the 108th Congress as he moves ahead with the opportunity for ESA renewal. Crapo said, "Recovery plans should be required, recovery actions should be a priority, state wildlife experts should be involved, and incentives should encourage all citizens to lend a hand." A discussion draft bill that Crapo circulated last fall included the following ideas: Creates a priority system as the basis of deadlines such that parties considering "deadline" litigation have an alternative to accelerate consideration by organizing a recovery effort or producing information. Rewards land managers in Critical Habitat areas for developing special ESA rules, agreements with state wildlife experts, and Habitat Conservation Plans. Creates specific opportunities to join recovery teams, involve states, and authorize specific recovery programs. Crapo pointed to several successful efforts that have produced results for wildlife. Those examples included the multi-state program for sage grouse, the State of Idaho's wolf management; fish conservation agreements for irrigators in two central Idaho counties; the Upper Colorado River Fish Recovery Program created by irrigators; the State of Colorado's lynx reintroduction program; and the Habitat Conservation Planning effort in California. # # # FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at http://src.senate.gov/radio/.