Bi-Partisan Political Support for Private Market Solutions to Open Space Protection and Environmental Quality
February 28, 2007
Demonstrating an increasing desire to use private market mechanisms to protect environmental quality and open space, at a February 28, 2007 press event in Washington, DC, political leaders of both main parties called for change in the way the Endangered Species Act is managed and implemented. See the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation press release below.
“Win-win results, good government, fair and just laws, intelligent laws that actually achieve their stated goals rather than creating disincentives for landowners to comply, respecting private property rights…whatever you want to call it, this kind of proposal is exactly what private landowners need and what land developers and natural resource management professionals ought to be embracing,” says Josh First of Appalachian Land & Conservation Services of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Sportsmen's Caucus Members Introduce Endangered Species Reform
Calling a press conference, five members of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus announced the introduction of "The Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2007" yesterday [February 28, 2007]. Senate Caucus Co-Chairs Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Max Baucus (D-MT) , along with Caucus Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) , Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Wayne Allard (R-CO) , announced that the legislation would provide tax incentives for landowners who help endangered species. By focusing on four major voluntary tax incentive components, instead of attempting to reform the current ESA laws, the bill would remain in the hands of the Senate Finance Committee. Those incentive components are habitat easement credits, habitat restoration credits, deductions and market mechanisms.
Senator Crapo, calling the legislation an important bridge builder between many diverse groups, singled out the support from the sportsmen's community by noting that, "Over 36 hunting and fishing groups under the lead of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation have already shown support for this legislation."
CSF President Jeff Crane addressed the press conference, pointing out that, "America's 40 million-plus hunters and fishermen founded the conservation model in North America and still are the backbone of wildlife conservation." Crane thanked the Caucus members present for their leadership on this bill and in general on issues of concern to sportsmen in the U.S. Senate, and pledged that the sportsmen's community will continue to work with them on passage of this legislation.
Summing up the interest of hunters and anglers, Sen. Baucus said, "This legislation helps protect species, but also helps protect open space; this helps all of those who enjoy hunting and fishing."