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REP. DOUG COLLINS' BILL OPENS ENDANGERED SPECIES DATA TO PUBLIC REVIEW

Rep. Doug Collins’ Bill Opens Endangered Species Data to Public Review

 

WASHINGTON—Today, Congressman Doug Collins (R-Ga.) joined colleagues from across the country to re-introduce The 21st Century Endangered Species Transparency Act that would require data the federal government uses to list endangered species be publicly available on the Internet. 

 

Operating under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the United States Fish and Wildlife Service routinely bases endangered species listings on hidden data and unpublished studies. In the 113th Congress, Rep. Collins was a member of a congressional working group that recommended data transparency to create a more credible, 21st Century ESA.

 

Representatives Collins, Cynthia Lummis (D-Wyo.), Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) and Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) issued the following statements in support of their transparency bill:

 

Rep. Collins: “Communities across Northeast Georgia and the country value the environmental protections of the Endangered Species Act. To increase public confidence that federal agencies are using the best available data to make far-reaching decisions, our bill would make that data open and transparent on the Internet, improving public participation and also species recovery.”

 

Rep. Lummis:  “The Endangered Species Act was a good idea in 1973 and it’s a good idea today, but the 40-year old law is in need of improvement. Endangered species listings have dramatic effects on local conservation efforts, private and public land use, and the livelihoods of impacted families.  Everyone agrees we should protect species from extinction, but we need to ensure that listing decisions are grounded in data that is public and verifiable.  I am pleased to join my colleagues from regions across the country in introducing this bill.  Our partnership is a reflection of the fact that the ESA is no longer just a major issue for the west, but for the entire nation.”

 

Rep. Neugebauer:  “ESA listing decisions have major consequences for hardworking farmers, ranchers, and small business owners in the 19th District of Texas and across America. The ESA must be updated and modernized to make it more accountable and transparent.  To address this, the 21st Century Endangered Species Transparency Act would empower the American people and enable them to have access to the data used to justify new listing decisions.”

 

Rep. Huizenga:  “Michigan is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, ranging from the Great Lakes to native species such as the gray wolf. Striking a balance between conservation and ensuring local communities can develop and prosper is critical.  While the intent of the Endangered Species Act is in the right place, the act itself has not been updated in 25 years.  Congress must continue to update the law and conduct oversight of its implementation to ensure a proper balance is maintained.”

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