“The Endangered Species Act is long overdue for reform and the LAMP Act is an important part of this effort,” said Congressman Emmer. “Farmers and ranchers in Minnesota and across the country want to protect America’s wildlife, but the current ESA has failed, hurt farmers and their families, and cost billions. The top-down federal approach has not worked. In fact, less than two percent of all listed species has been removed since the ESA’s enactment in 1973. The LAMP Act is common-sense reform to grant greater flexibility and responsibility to those most capable of species conservation.”
Specifically, the LAMP Act will permit the Secretary of Interior to enter into cooperative management agreements with states, local governments, tribes and other non-federal persons to better manage and recover species and improve habitat conservation. States with existing species conservation programs will be empowered to take the lead in managing and preserving those species.
Emmer referenced the case of the Grey Wolf, which was originally listed as endangered in 1974. Since then, its population recovered and expanded more quickly than anticipated, leading the Fish and Wildlife Service to make efforts to return management of the Grey Wolf to the states in 2009. Special interest groups filed multiple lawsuits in a successful attempt to usurp states' power, and today, despite the Fish and Wildlife Service’s best efforts to make it clear that this species has recovered and they are prepared to delist, the Grey Wolf remains listed in the Great Lakes region.
“The Grey Wolf is a perfect example of how the ESA is out of touch. We need clear objectives for species' and a process that won't be hijacked for nearly a decade by special interest group lawsuits,” said Emmer.
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) has provided a framework for the protection of endangered and threatened species since 1973. Administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), it was originally envisioned as a law that would protect species believed to be on the brink of extinction. Following its enactment, there were 109 species listed for protection. Unfortunately, the ESA has fallen short of recovering and delisting species since its inception, with less than 2 percent of its current 1661 listed species delisted, many of which are either extinct or were listed in error.
CLICK HERE to read the LAMP Act.