Rep. Mullin Introduces Legislation to Limit Regulatory OverreachWed, 18 Jun 2014 15:08:28 CDT
Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) introduced H.R. 4866, The Lesser Prairie Chicken Voluntary Recovery Act, a bill designed to address regulatory overreach by the federal government and enhance state and private sector conservation efforts of the lesser prairie chicken.
In effort to conserve the lesser prairie chicken, a historic amount of protected acreage was enrolled by both private landowners and industry nearly 14 million acres under various agreements. Despite this unprecedented achievement, the Fish & Wildlife Service chose to list the species as threatened, resulting in economic challenges for the affected states.
By effectively reversing the listing for five years, this legislation would allow state and private sector conservation activities and the financial resources committed to conservation of this species a fair and reasonable amount of time to work.
The Fish & Wildlife Service would continue to monitor progress on conservation efforts, report to Congress on that progress annually, and ultimately retain the authority to list the species five years in the future if conservation efforts do not produce the results predictable.
"Unfortunately, the federal government has once again crossed its regulatory bounds," said Mullin. "Rather than list the species, the Fish & Wildlife Service should have recognized the enormous success of the state and private sector response. There is no need to 'federalize' protection of every species at the loss of state jurisdiction and the disruption and isolation of local communities.
"This legislation re-establishes the proper priority role that the states should play in taking the lead responsibility for conserving our natural resources. Additionally, it incentivizes state government and the private sector to create effective public-private partnerships to protect vulnerable species with the confidence that such efforts will be rewarded by avoiding a listing of the species.
"I'm proud to help lead this effort to allow states and local communities to protect species while simultaneously minimizing job losses and maintaining and enhancing vibrant economic activity in their communities."
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