“I believe as we move forward in this process, we need to make private property owners part of the solution,” added Pombo, who noted that 93% of critical habitat species reside on lands owned by private citizens.
Sens. Chafee and Crapo reaffirmed their intent to seek bipartisan support for a consistent approach in both chambers of Congress. Chafee, who is chairman of the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Water, said that his panel will hold hearings later this year and seek broad participation from the environmental and business communities.
As a long-time proponent of improving the Endangered Species Act, NAHB believes that Congress should adopt a well-balanced critical habitat reform measure that strengthens the act and ensures that the data used to make decisions under the statute actually serves to protect species.
“Two bills approved by the House Resources Committee in the 108th Congress would achieve these objectives,” said Wilson, referring to the “The Critical Habitat Reform Act” that was championed by Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.), and the “Sound Science for Endangered Species Act Planning Act,” which was sponsored by Rep. Walden.
“These bills would promote species recovery, reduce litigation, provide incentives for private landowners to enact voluntary conservation measures and ensure that Endangered Species Act decisions are based on sound scientific data. NAHB supports the reintroduction of both of these measures in the 109th Congress,” he said.
For more information, e-mail Michael Strauss at NAHB, or call him at 800-368-5242 x8252.
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