It has been 23 years since Congress has reauthorized or made any significant, responsible improvements to the Endangered Species Act to ensure that it works for both species and people. After more than two decades, the ESA should be modernized and updated to once again focus the law on true species recovery.
Get the Facts:
In the United States, 1,383 species are listed under the ESA: 5828 animals and 795 plants.
Of the domestic species protected by the ESA, the Fish and Wildlife Service has declared only 20 species recovered. This represents a 1 percent recovery rate.
According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the average cost for the recovery of an endangered species is $15.9 million. The average cost of a complete listing decision is $85,000.
The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated 97.8 million acres and 40,000 miles of coastal rivers and streams as “critical habitat” for 603 listed species. The cost of a single designation of critical habitat is $515,000.
In the past ten years, Congress has appropriated $1.4 billion to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct ESA activities including listing, consultation and recovery efforts and $174.3 million to the National Marine Fisheries
Service to undertake ESA related activities.
In July 2011 the Interior Department agreed to a settlement that covered 779 species in 85 lawsuits and legal actions. Information obtained from agencies indicates that they have a combined total of over 180 pending ESA-related
According to the Washington Post, “In fiscal 2010, the Fish and Wildlife Service spent so much of its $21 million listing budget on litigation and responding to petitions that it had almost no money to devote to placing new species under federal protection, according to agency officials.”
Litigation Drives Endangered Species Act to the Detriment of Species and People
Jun 19, 2012 | Press Release
Full Committee Oversight Hearing on "Taxpayer-Funded Litigation: Benefitting Lawyers and Harming Species, Jobs and Schools"
Jun 19, 2012 | Hearings
Millions of Taxpayer Dollars Spent on Endangered Species Act Litigation and Attorney Fees
Jun 19, 2012 | Resourceful Information
Further Details Sought on Costs of Hundreds of Endangered Species Act Lawsuits and Settlements
May 31, 2012 | Press Release
Chairman Hastings Letters to Obama Administration Officials Requesting Further Information on Endangered Species Act Lawsuits and Settlements
May 31, 2012 | Letters
Northwest Federal Forest Regulations Have Devastated Forest Health, Local Economies With
Little Benefit to Northern Spotted Owl
May 21, 2012 | Press Release
Hastings' OpEd in The Washington Times: Time to improve the Endangered Species Act
May 21, 2012 | Op-Eds and Speeches
Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Oversight Field Hearing on "Failed Federal Forest Policies: Endangering Jobs, Forests and Species"
May 21, 2012 | Hearings
Chairman Hastings Seeks Answers from DOJ on Endangered Species Act Litigation and Settlement Costs
Mar 21, 2012 | Press Release
Chairman Hastings Letter to Assistant Attorney General Moreno on Endangered Species Act Litigation and Settlement Costs
Mar 19, 2012 | Letters