Cooperative Conservation conference itself brought sides together
St. Louis, MO â?? Support for cooperative solutions should spread to Congress to improve the Endangered Species Act, according to Idaho Senator Mike Crapo. Crapo, a speaker and round table participant at the White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation this week in St. Louis, is heartened at the willingness of government and private-sector interests from landowners to conservationists, to embrace collaboration as a tool in conservation efforts.â??We need cooperative legislation to implement like-minded cooperative conservation,â?? Crapo said to applause at the conference. â??We have all made innovative approaches work to solve our issues when regulations have failed us. Our innovations have given us good ideas for improving the law. People from all sides are sitting down together and finding solutions, many of which lie outside the standard realm of federal regulations. It is time to incorporate that collaborative approach inside the federal system. The participants at this conference seemed willing to do that.â??Crapo chairs a bi-partisan Senate panel planning legislation to improve the ESA through consensus-making, landowner incentives, and other ideas. The group hopes to introduce legislation by late this fall.â??We have seen collaboration work in Idaho through the Owyhee Initiative, the burbot working group in Boundary County, and the Clearwater Elk Collaborative,â?? Crapo said. â??Now, we are seeing similar collaborative discussions demonstrated at the national level during this conference and that momentum should translate into action by Congress in the near future,â?? he concluded.