Law & Order

U.S. House of Representatives Passes Bill to Reform Endangered Species Act

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to reform aspects of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The legislation would require the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to release data used to make listings of threatened or endangered animals and plants, require that state data be included in the calculations when making such determinations, report how much money is spent on ESA-related lawsuits and place reasonable caps on attorney fees.

The bill has been sent to the U.S. Senate for consideration. Despite agreeing that the current law is flawed, Republicans and Democrats are deadlocked on how to comprehensively update the 40-year-old ESA. Millions of acres of land have been set aside to protect threatened or endangered animals and plants, with few tangible results. Scores of off-highway vehicle roads and trails have been unnecessarily closed as a consequence. SEMA supports an alternative approach that focuses on establishing and managing smaller recovery zones.

For more information, contact Stuart Gosswein at