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ORBA PRESIDENT TESTIFIES TO CONGRESS ON ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT (ESA)
Contact: Meg Grossglass
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Congressional Hearing was held in
FONTANA, CALIFORNIA (September 10, 2004) The House Resources Committee, led by Chairman Richard Pombo, heard testimony to examine the impacts of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) on Southern California’s Inland Empire. The
Congressman Pombo opened the hearing by pointing out that the ESA is “broken” and needs to be “fixed”. He stated that “during the past ten years, 1300 species have been listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act and only 7 have ever been delisted.”
Roy Denner, President of the Off-Road Business Association (ORBA), joined the mayors of
Story after story was told about the many projects that this Fly has stopped or delayed. According to the mayor of
Congressman Joe Baca asked if anyone has ever seen one of these flies. Not one person in attendance had ever seen a live Delhi Sand Flower-Loving Fly, although the Executive Director for the Endangered Habitats League, who also testified at the Hearing, indicated that he had actually seen a dead specimen and indicated that he felt it is important to “preserve all of Creation including the Delhi Sands Fly and its ecosystem.” Congressman Baca asked how one could identify the Fly. He demonstrated, with a rolled up newspaper, what he would do if the unidentified fly landed in front of him an act that could lead to jail time!
Denner addressed other ESA impacts within the
ORBA’s President also described the closures of routes and trails, the elimination of logging, and the restrictions to clearing of underbrush and fire breaks in the
Julie MacDonald, Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, testified that 100% of the Agency’s budget goes to respond to court orders resulting from lawsuits filed under the Endangered Species Act. She indicated that it would take 10 years of the Agency’s current budget to respond to the huge backlog of existing court orders. As a result, no funds remain to actually deal with managing the species in accordance with the ESA. In the meantime, petition after petition, drafted by environmental organizations, are being filed to list new species.
Chairman Pombo closed the Hearing by telling everyone that he is working very hard in Congress to get support for bringing reason back to the ESA. He stated that “nobody is asking to do away with the ESA. It just needs to be modified to provide species protection in a way that can be managed.”
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