ATR commends House Resource Chairman for Reform of Endangered Species Act (ESA)

WASHINGTON — Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) applauded House Resources Chairman Richard Pombo (R-CA) today for his introduction of H.R. 3824, the Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005 (TESRA). The measure seeks to update and strengthen the contentious Endangered Species Act (ESA), legislation that has often pitted private land owners against the government.

TESRA provides compensation to private property owners for the fair market value of the land lost when it is determined that a property “taking” has occurred. Additionally, new incentives are established for voluntary conservation efforts, including “species recovery agreements”, which provides landowners that protect and restore habitats for covered species with conservation grants.

Chairman Pombo has always been a leader in fighting for the rights of private property owners around the country,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Today, he reaffirmed that commitment through the introduction of this landmark legislation which not only seeks to protect the land, but the species on it as well.”

ESA has for too long stripped private landowners of their property in the name of conservation. Currently, ESA has allowed government to take land from a private landowner in order to save a species that is listed as threatened or endangered. Not only has this become a detriment to landowners across the United States, but the end result has been a less than 1 percent recovery rate for these species over this time period.

With results as disparaging as those produced by the thirty-year existence of ESA, Chairman Pombo has now given property owners the due justice they deserve”, said Norquist. “Following the Kelo decision by the Supreme Court, members of Congress should be doing all in their power to protect private landowners from government intrusion, and supporting H.R. 3824 is an excellent step in the right direction.”