Daines Organizes Endangered Species Hearing

By Beacon Staff

Congressman Steve Daines has organized a field hearing focused on the Endangered Species Act and the implications of abusing the national policy. The event is in Billings on Sept. 4 with the House Natural Resources Committee. The event is seeking input from local land users about the potential impacts of listing the Greater Sage Grouse under the Endangered Species Act and the implications it holds for Montana’s economy and habitat.

The hearing will also focus on state and local efforts in land management to conserve species and balance responsible resource development and land use, according to Daines’ office. Montana’s congressman will be joined by Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), Congressman Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.).

“As a fifth-generation Montanan, I know firsthand how damaging federal overreach can be to the Montanans that depend on our land and resources for their income and their way of life,” Daines said in a statement.

“I’m pleased that the Natural Resources Committee has responded to my request for greater examination of the consequences of Endangered Species Act abuse and the potential listing of the Greater Sage Grouse, and agreed to hold this field hearing in Billings, where residents will be directly affected by the Department of Interior’s decisions. I encourage Montanans to join me at this hearing and look forward to hearing more about how these issues affect the people of our state.”

In light of the Department of Interior’s proposed Resource Management Plans and proposed priority habitat for the Greater Sage Grouse, Daines, along with Cramer, requested for Chairman Hastings to hold a field hearing on the implications of misguided federal actions under the ESA.

Daines and Cramer cited nationwide implications of ESA abuse, noting that potential federal actions under the ESA due to “mega-settlements” with groups could have severe repercussions on domestic energy production, according to Daines’ office.

Daines also cited misguided federal actions that could impact livestock and outdoor recreation industries, both of which are critical to the economy and way of life in Montana and North Dakota.

Click here to read Daines’ letter requesting the hearing.

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