A recent poll reported by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) indicated considerable support for Endangered Species Act (ESA) reform, which has been criticized for being outdated, and points out the need for involvement from the states.
“Farmers and ranchers all can agree that imperiled species deserve our collective assistance. However, the ESA is broken,” AFBF Director of Congressional Relations Ryan Yates recently told EP News Wire. “Recovery is largely non-existent. Long-term sustainability and success of the ESA has been damaged by litigious environmental groups.”
Yates contends success can be found through congressional ESA reform efforts targeting recovery and increasing the role of the states in that recovery process. "State governments must play a leading role in the future.” he said.
Yates explained that first there must be three primary areas of reforms. First, there must be reform of the recovery planning process. Recovery rates for threatened and endangered species have a less than a “2 percent success rate.”
Second, “listing and de-listing processes have been overwhelmed by radical environmental litigants, which threaten the long-term viability for successful partnerships between actual stakeholders and the Fish and Wildlife Service.” Yates said.
Third, Yates further explained that “state governments have the basic trust responsibility for wildlife, with the exception of wildlife listed under the ESA.”
“AFBF supports legislation that would provide management authority and incentives to states for T&E species management,” Yates said. “State resources and locally developed science and data should be prioritized to increase success in achieving species recovery while respecting property rights through voluntary conservation partnerships.”
The AFBF’s mission is to unify a national voice of agriculture, working through grassroots organizations to enhance and strengthen the lives of rural Americans and to build strong, prosperous agricultural communities.