Clements: The Congressional Western Caucus last week introduced 19 bills that would update and modernize the Endangered Species Act. Ryan Yates, American Farm Bureau Federation Congressional Relations Director, says the ESA needs updating.
Yates: Broadly speaking, there are a number of changes that are rightfully deserved. And the last time the Endangered Species Act was updated was 1988. So, a lot of things have changed, the world has changed, science has changed, and certainly, wildlife management has changed.
Clements: Yates says farmers and ranchers need changes that make the ESA easier to implement.
Yates: We were thrilled that this group of lawmakers have come together to identify a number of real solutions to focus and prioritize on simple changes that can make the Endangered Species Act work better for not only species, but ultimately for state and local governments, landowners, farmers, ranchers, that are looking for ways to make the Endangered Species Act work well for them.
Clements: Yates says the updates will make the ESA more effective and easier to manage.
Yates: Today, the ESA provides protections for over 1,600 domestic species. In the 46 years of the Endangered Species Act, only three percent of those species have been successfully recovered and removed from the list. And frankly, I think we can do better. I think congress recognizes we can do better.
Clements: Learn more about the bills at westerncaucus.house.gov. Micheal Clements, Washington.