Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced the Native Species Protection Act, a bill that would allow states to manage species that exist entirely within their border.
“There are real environmental benefits to protecting endangered species from extinction, but the federal law intended to establish such protections – the Endangered Species Act – is in serious need of reform,” said Senator Lee. “In the nearly fifty years since it was signed into law, the ESA has done more to impede economic activity, obstruct local conservation efforts, and give federal bureaucrats regulatory control over private property, than it has done to protect endangered species. The Native Species Protection Act is a commonsense reform that would limit the damage caused by federal mismanagement of protected species while empowering state and local officials to pursue sensible conservation plans with their communities.”
“I am grateful to join my colleagues in introducing the Native Species Protection Act, which empowers states to manage wildlife populations unique to their state,” said Hatch. “Time and again, we have witnessed federal mismanagement of numerous species, especially in my home state of Utah. In my view, state officials—not Beltway bureaucrats—are best equipped to manage animal populations in a responsible manner, especially those populations that fall exclusively within their borders. This legislation authorizes state wildlife management authorities, in cooperation with local communities, to develop balanced conservation plans that meet the needs of state-specific species and affected areas. I’m pleased to be a part of this effort and hope that the Senate will act quickly to pass this commonsense legislation.”
The Native Species Protection Act clarifies that noncommercial species found entirely within the borders of a single State are not subject to regulation under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 or any other provision of law enacted as an exercise of the power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce.