Crawford’s ‘Common Sense in Species Protection Act’ Receives Hearing

Sep 09, 2014
Press

Chairman Doc Hastings of the House Natural Resources Committee hosts hearing on H.R. 4319

U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford (AR-1) released a statement Tuesday expressing his gratitude to the House Committee on Natural Resources and committee chairman Doc Hastings for holding a hearing held regarding Crawford’s legislation, H.R. 4319, the Common Sense in Species Protection Act.

In May, committee Chairman Doc Hastings also held a field hearing in Batesville where a broad range of witnesses testified about the economic impact that the proposed critical habitat designation would have on private land owners.

“I appreciate Chairman Hastings and committee staff for allowing my bill to be a part of today’s hearing,” said Congressman Crawford. “After hearing the concerns from state and local stakeholders earlier this year as to the negative economic impact that the proposed habitat designation for the Neosho Mucket and Rabbitsfoot mussels would have, I drafted legislation requiring the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to perform a full economic analysis of any proposed critical habitat designations. Requiring the Fish & Wildlife Service to perform this full and comprehensive economic analysis is a much needed level of reform that will provide more transparency to the general public and better inform them as to what the actions of a federal agency will have on their community or their private property.”

During the May hearing, a panel of witnesses testified about the economic impact the proposed critical habitat designation would have in Arkansas. The hearing testimony overwhelmingly stated that requiring the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to perform a full economic analysis would be an important addition to the designation process. That requirement does not exist currently, and there is no information provided as to the impact that a designation would have on municipalities, businesses, and private land owners.

“The Common Sense in Species Protection Act would add transparency and accountability while also ensuring that truly endangered species are considered for protection by the Fish & Wildlife Service,” said Crawford. “I believe that adding the requirement that a full economic analysis be performed and considered during the process, will afford individuals, businesses, and municipalities the opportunity to be more aware of what a critical habitat designation would mean for them and their communities.”

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