NMMA endorses reexamination of Endangered Species Act

WASHINGTON – A white paper introduced yesterday by the House Resources Committee that questions the effectiveness of the Endangered Species Act was quickly endorsed by the National Marine Manufacturers Association, which said in a statement yesterday that the Act had failed its purpose.

NMMA said the themes contained in the white paper – which outlines ESA shortcomings – echoed sentiments it had expressed “for well over a year now.” Specifically, that the .01 percent recovery rate of threatened species proves the ESA is an ineffective tool in helping animals rebound from the brink of extinction.

“It is clear that the Endangered Species Act, unchanged since its inception three decades ago, has failed to fulfill its original intentions,” said Monita Fontaine, NMMA vice president of government relations. “Only 12 of the 1,304 species that have been listed as endangered species over the last 30 years have shown enough recovery to be de-listed. It is time for long-overdue reform to ensure the recovery of one of our nation’s most prized resources – our wildlife.”

NMMA said it is committed to preservation of endangered species and their habitat, but that the ESA hasn’t and won’t obtain that end.

“Frankly, this is deplorable and we should do better and we can do better,” Fontaine said. “NMMA continues to lend its support and encouragement to Congress to craft meaningful ESA reform including the use of verifiable, sound science.”

NMMA will provide written testimony at the House Resources Committee hearing on the Critical Habitat Reform Act of 2003 (H.R. 2933) today, sponsored by Representative Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.). NMMA has written Congressman Cardoza in support of H.R. 2933 and continues that support, according to its release.

To read the House Resources Committee’s white paper, ESA at 30: A Mandate for Modernization, visit http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/.

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