Senate Hearing Focuses on Changes to the Endangered Species Act

A Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing Wednesday focused on efforts to modernize the Endangered Species Act. The Endangered Species Act Amendments Act of 2020 reauthorizes the ESA for the first time since 1992. Florida rancher Liesa Priddy says the legislation, “will be better for ranchers, better for states, better for the federal authorities, and better for the species.” Priddy testified on behalf of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council. The organizations support the legislation that they say empowers states to lead recovery efforts and gives stakeholders, like ranchers, who make significant investments in voluntary conservation a more meaningful seat at the table in recovery discussions. Senator John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican, says state and local experts need to be leading efforts to protect local wildlife. His legislation will increase local input and improve transparency in the listing process. Barrasso says the bill also protects endangered species and helps communities invest in more conservation and recovery activities.