Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senate Western Caucus members Mike Crapo and Jim Risch (both R-Idaho) joined Senate Western Caucus Chair Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming) and Congressional Western Caucus Chair Dan Newhouse (R-Washington) in introducing legislation to prevent the U.S. Departments of the Interior and Commerce from finalizing three rule proposals and to retain the Trump-era regulations within the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The legislation will preserve legal clarity to landowners and businesses out West while also ensuring that the ESA effectively manages wildlife.
“Wildlife species should be protected and recovered when possible, but the ESA as written has had very limited success,” said Crapo. “The Biden Administration’s rollback of 2019 reforms will only create more red tape and burdensome regulations that will hinder recovery and conservation efforts. Idaho’s farmers, ranchers and conservationists need more support--not additional regulatory cudgels--to make on-the-ground decisions most successful at proper wildlife management practices.”
“The Biden administration is abusing the Endangered Species Act to institute burdensome regulations that put Idaho’s farming, ranching, mining, and other land management projects in the crosshairs,” said Risch. “With Senator Lummis, I am introducing legislation to protect wildlife and critical projects in the West from these heavy handed changes and, instead, keep a tailored, commonsense approach to species recovery.”
Additional co-sponsors of the Senate legislation include U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Roger Marshall (R-Kansas), Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), Pete Ricketts (R-Nebraska), Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska), Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), Steve Daines (R-Montana), Jerry Moran (R-Kansas), John Hoeven (R-North Dakota), Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Click here to read the bill text.
In 2019, The Trump Administration finalized key changes to the Endangered Species Act that added more flexibility for affected stakeholders while also ensuring species’ recovery plans take a tailored and targeted approach. Last month, the Biden Administration moved to repeal and replace these changes, which are detailed below.
Blanket Rule Elimination
Critical Habitat Changes
Section 7 Changes
On August 1, 2023, Crapo and Risch signed a letter to the FWS and NOAA asking for a comment period extension for the three rules that would roll back the Trump Administration’s ESA reforms.
On May 11, 2023, the United States Senate passed a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution supported by Crapo and Risch would overturn the Biden Administration’s ESA rule related to critical habitat. The CRA awaits consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives.