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The BN Guy
10-01-2005, 02:18 PM
Just picked this up in email...

ARRA BREAKING NEWS!!!!!

The House of Representatives today passed H.R. 3824, the
Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005, by a
vote of 229 to 193. This is the first major rewrite of the
Endangered Species Act in more than 30 years.

This is good news for ARRA members who have mobilized in favor
of House passage of H.R. 3824.

The measure now goes to the U. S. Senate for consideration. The
timetable for Senate action is uncertain at this time.

To learn more about this issue, read the October issue of ARRA's
Washington newsletter which will be posted on this website on
Monday, October 3.

www.arra-access.com

DesertRose
10-01-2005, 04:06 PM
As is always the case with legislation of any kind, it's a really good idea to know who is sponsoring it, a little more about what its details include, and just what the motivations are for it.

HR 3824 is actually Rep. Pombo's uber-scary attack on not only endangered species (one only has to look at Pombo's record to see who is paying for his motivation) but also national parks and other protected areas.

Pombo's original bill would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Outer Continental Shelf off America's 26 coastal states to drilling (which is strongly opposed by most officials in both parties in California). It also calls for selling off national parks; selling naming rights to visitor centers, education centers, museums, trails and amphitheaters; and selling $10 million in advertising in maps and guides and on all buses, shuttles, vans, trams and ferries. Can you say Verizon-Yellowstone National Park? Welcome to Coca Cola's Yosemite Park?

Pombo's bill requires 15 sites to be removed from the national park system and made available "for sale or for energy or commercial development." One of them is Arizona's Fort Bowie National Historical Site, and seven sites in Alaska: Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve; Bering Land Bridge National Preserve; Cape Krusenstern National Monument; Kobuk Valley National Park; Lake Clark National Park and Preserve; Noatak National Preserve; and Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve.

The most incredible thing is that it would instruct the secretary of the interior to remove Theodore Roosevelt Island from the national park system and "make it available for immediate sale for purposes of commercial and residential development."

There is supposed to be a new version of this spurious bill soon, if not already. I need to go check the CR. Even if he takes out all the park-ripping stuff, one needs to ask: is this the man to trust with our natural heritage? NO! in my opinion. (Look at the sponsors of the bill, too - not a single moderate Republican - a group to which I whole-heartedly belong - in Arizona the bill have endorsers Flake, Shaddegg and Renzi - Kolbe, our best conservation-Republican in the House, has declined).

While Jonathan and I are the first to admit that the ESA has some flaws that have been abused by some opportunists and extremists, we feel very strongly that this bill is NOT the way to improve our management and recovery of endangered species. We have a lot of real-time experience working on conservation issues locally and in Washington; i have lobbied there for the NRCS and worked on reform of BLM land management at the national level so that it includes more stakeholder input (read: I have helped to make sure all users, including OHVers, get a fair say).

One of the great problems in judging just how good or bad a piece of legislation is lies in that reading the original language is practically greek, the summary was written by the sponsors and hardly tells the real story - and so you're stuck with reading interpretations from advocacy groups: read the ARRA's version, and it sounds reasonable; read the Sierra Club's version, and it sounds like a free-for-all. The truth is somewhere in the middle. Where do we find it? I guess just reading all you can, both sides, weighing and making educated decisions.

But the extremes sure make it hard.

I'm just hoping we can find that compromise.

Roseann

Ursidae69
10-10-2005, 08:30 PM
Great post, Roseann, great post.

I work in the environmental field doing compliance, often endangered species compliance, and I'll also agree that the ESA needs some revisions. However, this bill does not do that.