HSC Opposes H. R. 8262 Sec. 439: Permit Prohibition For Trophies
This bill is focused on appropriations for the Department of the Interior, environment, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2023, and for other purposes. HSC opposes section 439 related to Permit Prohibition which states the following: None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to issue a permit for the import of a sport-hunted trophy of an elephant or lion taken in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, or Zambia. The limitation described in this section shall not apply in the case of the administration of a tax or tariff. This division may be cited as the ‘‘Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2023’’.
Houston Safari Club requested the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources favorably report the Bipartisan Manchin/Daines Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to S. 2561, the “Cottonwood Fix”. Since the Ninth Circuit Court issued the 2015 Cottonwood Environmental Law Center v. United States Forest Service (Cottonwood) decision, the Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have been required to reinitiate consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Land Management and Forest Management Plans at the programmatic level when new Endangered Species Act (ESA) information came to light. This continues to block and slow many essential USFS forest management, wildlife habitat enhancement and wildfire fuel reduction projects. On October 21, 2021, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) testified before the Committee that unless action is taken to resolve challenges stemming from the 2015 Cottonwood decision, the agency will have to go through re-consultation, regardless of the merit, on over one-hundred forest plans that “will take years and cost millions of dollars,” threatening to undermine the Administration’s 10 Year Wildfire Crisis Strategy.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Rescinds Endangered Species Act Critical Habitat Exclusion Regulations; Significant Implications of Anticipated ESA Regulatory Revisions
The proposed rescission or revision of recent final rules creates regulatory uncertainty for all stakeholders. The Services’ rationale for pursuing rescission or revision have been summary and without effective substantive explanations. While there are various interpretations of what qualifies as or constitutes habitat for a particular species, a regulatory definition is needed for effective implementation of the ESA. The need for a consistent and workable definition of habitat is underscored by the fact that the Supreme Court ruled in a previous case that identifying habitat is a necessary precondition by which to assess whether an area can qualify for designation as critical habitat. Similarly, given the availability of judicial review of decisions not to exclude an area from critical habitat, the public and stakeholders need greater transparency and certainty regarding the critical habitat exclusion process. The planned rescissions, reversals, and regulatory changes may create confusion and obstacles for ESA implementation. Also, the Services run the risk of inviting more litigation to the process, scope, and substance of their actions. For more information: https://www.fws.gov/press-release/2022-07/service-rescinds-endangered-species-act-critical-habitat-exclusion