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Well-known member
Feb 13, 2005
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north eastern new mexico
The Threatened & Endangered Species Recovery Act (TESRA) of 2005 is scheduled for TODAY on the U.S. House Floor. We understand that there may be a substitute offerd by Representatives Miller and Boehlert.

Please contact Tom Udall's office NOW with this request:

vote YES on TESRA and NO on Miller/Boehlert.

Also, call and/or fax Miller and Boehlert and let them know you oppose their amendment:

George Miller (D-CA) and Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) to tell
them not to sabotage HR 3824. Boehlert can be called at (202) 225-3665.
FAX: (202) 225-1891. George Miller can be called at (202) 225-2095 and
faxed at (202) 225-5609

below are some talking points on the Miller / Boehlert substitute:

Miller/Boehlert won't give private property owners an honest answer. Under Miller/Boehlert private property owners can't get a straight answer whether use of their property would violate the ESA. All property owners can find out is if they need to be in a Habitat Conservation Plan.

Under H.R. 3824, private property owners can request a written determination from the Secretary whether use of their property would violate the ESA and get a straight "yes" or "no" answer.
Miller/Boehlert sticks private property owners with the bill. When a farmer loses land for a highway he's compensated, but if he can't use part of his farm because of the ESA he's left to bear the burden alone. Miller/Boehlert does nothing to protect the small property owners from losing the value of their property.

Under H.R. 3824 when a private property owner gets a written determination that using his property would violate the law, the property owner becomes eligible for compensation for the fair market value that he's lost. And the Congressional Budget Office has scored this at "likely less than $10 million" over the next five years.
Miller/Boehlert replaces dysfunctional critical habitat with something worse: lands "necessary for recovery." Miller/Boehlert allows a "recovery team" to designate any private and publicly owned land and water "necessary" to recover species. While "publicly owned" land would be the first target, this definition allows inclusion of any and all land. In any consultation under the ESA the Secretary has to consider the effects of an action on this land and do so under the stifling Miller/Boehlert jeopardy definition.

H.R. 3824 eliminates the critical habitat provisions that Republican and Democratic Administrations and the Secretary of Interior have said provides little value for conservation, wastes money and cause conflict.

Miller/Boehlert removes critical incentives programs. Miller/Boehlert offers only a single "voluntary" program for landowners. At best it offers 70% of the costs for a private property owner to implement a "management plan." No matter what the terms, a property owner can't break even. Miller/Boehlert does not offer any of H.R. 3824's incentive programs.

H.R. 3824 creates several new tools - contracts, agreements and grants - to provide incentives for conserving endangered species.
Miller/Boehlert creates a strangling new standard for jeopardy. Miller/Boehlert would redefine jeopardy from a review of the impacts on the species and the ability to conserve that species to a test whether an agency act increases risks, results in delays or increases costs of conservation efforts.

HR: 3824 keeps the jeopardy bar where it is, not introducing more litigation and conflict.
Miller/Boehlert abandons science based decision-making by enshrining process over substance. Miller/Boehlert doesn't require determinations as to what data meets the standard for best available scientific data, doesn't apply existing federal guidance on data quality and will not ensure the gathering of empirical data or the use of peer review when data is insufficient.

H.R. 3824 requires guidelines that comply with federal data quality standards and requires the Secretary to take steps to correct insufficient data, like gathering new empirical data and conducting peer reviews.

Miller/Boehlert fails to make necessary improvements to the ESA consultation process. ESA consultations are rife with uncertainty given unpredictable interpretations of the scope of actions to be reviewed and the mitigation necessary. Miller/Boehlert does nothing to significantly improve this situation.

HR 3824 will clarify the environmental baseline to be reviewed as part of the consultation process, require that mitigation be roughly proportional to the identified impacts and grant additional flexibility to identify alternative (but equally protective) consultation procedures. Miller/Boehlert removes those critical improvements, leaving us with the flawed ESA consultation process that exists today.
Miller/Boehlert keeps old and adds new bureaucracies. Miller/Boehlert keeps the cumbersome, expensive and rarely used "God squad" and adds another bureaucratic scientific panel all paid at the top of the government scale.

HR 3824 eliminates the "God Squad" and doesn't add new bureaucracies.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of our request.
Folks we are hearing from a lot of Democrats and moderate Republicans that they are voting YES for the Miller Substitute---we need help!! We need Members to vote YES on the Pombo bill and NO on the Miller substitute.

Please have folks call, email and make any contact with every Member of Congress!

We need your help to get this bill passed!

Thank you


House Resources Committee

[email protected].

-----Original Message-----
From: Ryan Balis [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2005 12:06 PM
To: Ryan Balis
Subject: Environmental Activists Target Small Property Owners WhileCalling the Fifth Amendment a ³NewEntitlement²

Contact: Ryan Balis or David Almasi at (202) 543-4110

For Release: September 29, 2005

Environmental Activists Target Small Property Owners While Calling the Fifth Amendment a "New Entitlement"

Washington, D.C. - The environmental community is in an uproar this week over a proposed measure that would reform the Endangered Species Act by including within it modest property rights protections for small landowners.

The "Threatened and Endangered Species Reform Act" (TESRA) is being debated now and is expected to face a vote today in the House of Representatives.

If green lobbyists and their congressional allies get their way, American property owners will continue to have their rights trampled by the Endangered Species Act.

"In light of the enormous outcry over the dreadful Kelo v. New London ruling, it's hard to believe that anyone would so vehemently oppose protecting the property rights of American landowners," said Peyton Knight, Director of the John P. McGovern MD Center for Environmental and Regulatory Affairs of the National Center for Public Policy Research. "Indifference to the suffering of small property owners would be bad enough, but actively seeking to harm them is beyond the pale."

Knight refers to the onslaught of anti-property rights rhetoric that has poured out of the environmental community this week as a result of the proposal that landowners should receive compensation when the government takes their property under the Endangered Species Act.

Under current law, the ESA takes private property without paying the owner a dime.

One provision in TESRA would help resolve this problem by providing fair compensation to landowners who lose the use of their property as a result of the ESA. Environmentalists have made gutting this protection a top priority.

A "Dear Colleague" letter being circulated by Representatives Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and John Conyers (D-MI) vilifies the compensation provision as a "sweeping new entitlement program."

"The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution mandates that the federal government pay just compensation to American landowners when the government takes their property, so in that sense, yes, constitutional rights are a 'sweeping entitlement,'" notes National Center Vice President David Ridenour. "As for the 'new' part, I suppose that depends on your definition of the word 'new.' My personal definition happens to exclude anything over 200 years old."

Environmental groups such as the Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife are also decrying the notion of compensating small landowners when government takes their property. The Endangered Species Act has been especially devastating to small landowners, farmers, and ranchers, as many cannot survive financially without the use of their property.

The current ESA has failed to recover over 99 percent of the species it lists as threatened or endangered. Many attribute this failure to the fact that the Act punishes landowners that harbor endangered species and their habitat on their property.

"The true colors of elitists within the environmental community are shining through," said Ridenour. "They would rather destroy small property owners than save species."

The National Center notes that without the crucial provisions within TESRA that provide protection for private property owners, both Americans and species will continue to suffer.
"Future generations of Americans should be secure in the right to their homes and their property," said Knight. "Green ideologues are promoting the extinction of this essential right, and with it, the extinction of countless endangered species."

For more information, contact Ryan Balis or David Almasi at (202) 543-4110.

# # #

501 Capitol Court, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 543-4110
Fax (202) 543-5975
E-Mail: [email protected]
Web: www.nationalcenter.org
The House passed Pombo's bill and the greenies are screaming mad. Check out this press release from the Center of Biological Diversity:

And this story from the Sierra Club: http://www.commondreams.org/news2005/0930-02.htm

If your representative didn't vote to protect you, I'd get in touch with them! And don't neglect calling your Senators. It is supposed to hit a rougher road in the Senate.