Letter to the Editor: Changes should be made to the ESA
I think it is great for Senator Hatch while on the Judiciary Committee to open and hear out the pros and cons on malpractice suits. There are certainly both sides of the issue that needs to be fully and completely aired. This is good for everyone living within the 50 United States.
But Senator Hatch must also come to understand that the people living in Vermont or Texas or Massachusetts did not elect him to his position as Senator for the state of Utah. Nor did only the people living in and along the enviro-infested Wasatch Front elect him to office. His main support comes from rural Utah. Senator Hatch, while still holding this key position, should recall the Endangered Species Act back for a rehearing. There are several things within that act that should be removed and some new rules inserted.
The first rule that should be changed is that all military bases and installations should be marked off limits to the endangered species act. The Act has four military bases marked with 50 recently proclaimed off limits areas due to it.
The second one that should be changed is that no species can be listed into the act until a 90 day period is held open for the general public to vote on.
The third thing that should be changed is that any time an Endangered Species is used for filling an appeal, $2500 sincerity bond must be posted. This would be to prove that the species is where it is said to be. If the appeal filer loses, he forfeits the $2500, if he wins his money is returned to him.
Fourth on the list is if an endangered species is proven to be existing in five different areas, it not be considered endangered.
Sixth would be the removal of the critical habitat description and clause. In reality the ESA has became rural Utahns worst nightmare. The human factor is completely ignored in the decision making. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service, which oversees enforcement of the ESA, has included an additional 113 new species to their endangered list, including the Rattlesnake. The ESA decides which species are listed, how much land must be set aside for "Critical Habitat" for those species, and what activities are permitted on land where these species might live. "Critical habitat" is defined not as land on which the species currently lives, but as any area that has similar characteristics essential to survival of the species.
The construction of schools, hospitals, homes, and airports is often delayed or stopped by "critical habitat" designations even when no representative of the species has been found.
In many cases this has cost the land owners and builders literally millions of dollars.