Newhouse Condemns Administration for Ignoring Species Science, Punishing State and Local Conservationists

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Chairman Dan Newhouse (WA-04) released the following statement after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service announced a final rule to rescind the regulatory definition of “habitat” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), an action that will result in inflated, unscientific critical habitat designations and infringement on personal property rights:
“This is yet another action the Biden Administration is taking to equip radical special interest groups with tools that weaponize the Endangered Species Act against rural communities,” said Chairman Newhouse. “Rescinding the definition of ‘habitat’ from listing decisions directly contradicts scientific data used to designate a species’ critical habitat. Doing so will remove incentives for landowners to continue conservation efforts for fear of the wrath of the federal government, and it will hinder effective restoration. The ESA will only be successful if efforts are rooted in science and if locally-led and voluntary species recovery work conducted by states, local conservationists, and private landowners are rewarded — not punished.”

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