Newhouse bill adjusts Endangered Species Act

More people to have input before listings

— Congressman Dan Newhouse is elated after his State, Tribal and Local Species Transparency and Recovery Act was approved in a House Natural Resources Committee markup this week.

During the markup, House Resolution 1274 was also amended to include the text of Newhouse’s other legislation, House Resolution 1273.

“The markup of my legislation to modernize the Endangered Species Act is a great step forward to improve transparency in endangered species listing decisions,” Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, said.

In Eastern Washington, the listing of gray wolves and potential listing of grizzly bears has ramifications for local communities, he said.

His legislation ensures the use of sound science, he said, adding Newhouse adding the legislation gives state and local stakeholders access to data used in listing decisions.

It also requires federal agencies to consider state, local and tribal input before making listing decisions.

At a legislative hearing in July, Newhouse testified on his bill, an amendment to the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

He wanted it to require the federal government to disclose to affected states all data used prior to any listing decisions.

He also wanted it to require the “best available scientific and commercial data” used by the federal government include information provided by effected states, tribes and local governments.

House Resolution 1273 would have updated the Endanger Species Act by requiring federal agencies to make data available on the Internet. It would also have ensured the proper use of taxpayer funds by putting a cap on attorneys’ fees.

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