May 19, 2005

CRAPO: ESA IMPROVEMENTS PROTECT PROPERTY RIGHTS

Testifies before Senate subcommittee on improving recovery efforts

Washington, DC â?? Efforts to improve the Endangered Species Act (ESA) are moving forward, with hearings by both Senate and House members underway, and Idaho Senator Mike Crapo sees progress in building both political and species recovery partnerships. Crapo testified on ESA improvements before the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water today.Crapo pointed out that Governor Dirk Kempthorne, while in the U.S. Senate, started improvement efforts that are bearing fruit through the renewed effort he has begun with Subcommittee Chairman Lincoln Chaffee (R-Rhode Island), House Resources Committee Chairman Richard Pombo (R-California) and Representative Greg Walden (R-Oregon). He said people who used to fight each other over ESA improvements are now working together in a more collaborative fashion.â??The focus now, as it was then, must be an improved and energized recovery program for species supported by a simple outline of ideas,â?? Crapo testified. â??Those ideas include improving habitat conservation, providing more and better incentives to landowners, enhancing the role of states where appropriate, and ensuring reliable science is a part of the process.â??Crapo said progress is clearly being made regarding agreement on how and where to improve the ESA. He included efforts in Idaho in his remarks.â??Idaho landowners have stronger property rights today because they have advanced their own conservation ideas for wolves, grizzly bears, sage grouse, ground squirrels, and a desert plant, the slickspot peppergrass,â?? Crapo said. â??Other states have similar accomplishments: Colorado, California, Louisiana, Texas, Wisconsin, and others have advanced recovery and property rights with lynx, songbirds, bears, and butterflies.â??Crapo said that former adversaries on the ESA now have an opportunity to work together and improve the law for people and wildlife. â??We can and we must surmount entrenched positions,â?? he added. â??If we update and strengthen ESA to become less contentions and more effective, we will have the votes to win passage of a bill.â??# # #A SATELLITE FEED IS AVAILABLE TODAY: 1:45â??2:15 p.m. Mountain / 12:45 p.m. Pacific, Galaxy 3 (C-Band), Transponder 7 Horizontal, Downlink 3840, Standard Audio. RADIO ACTUALITY AVAILABLE at 1-800-545-1267, Ext. 327 or at www.senate.gov/src/radio/crapo.