Western Caucus Vice Chair Westerman Leads Legislation to Recover Species, Restore Habitat

Today, Congressional Western Caucus Vice Chair, and Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, Bruce Westerman (AR-04) held a press conference on the America’s Wildlife Habitat Conservation Act. This legislation would promote state- and tribal-led conservation efforts to recover species, reform the Endangered Species Act (ESA), provide Good Neighbor Authority to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and address the disastrous Cottonwood decision.
“The America's Wildlife Habitat Conservation Act will empower states and local communities to use proven practices to restore and maintain habitat, which will benefit species in their state’s wildlife action plans,” said Vice Chair Westerman. “Good habitat management is integral to wildlife management and without it, species have little chance of maintaining sustainable populations and surviving. By strengthening relationships between states, tribes, private landowners and the federal government, we can empower them to implement proactive habitat conservation that will make a difference where it counts: on the ground across our abundant outdoors. I’d like to thank my colleagues who have supported this logical and forward-thinking legislation, and I look forward to working with them and members across the aisle to move this commonsense, financially responsible bill through the legislative process and ultimately into law.”
“The Endangered Species Act has failed in its mission to recover and delist species and instead has been used as a tool by the federal government to control landowner rights,” said Western Caucus Chairman Dan Newhouse (WA-04). “We must improve conservation efforts by empowering state- and local-led efforts and avoid a one-size-fits-all approach to species recovery. Vice Chair Westerman’s America’s Wildlife Habitat Conservation Act delivers critical support to the individuals on the ground who have been tasked with preserving and restoring at-risk habitat to better manage species. I’m proud to co-sponsor this important legislation.”
Full text of the bill can be found here.


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