A Move from Regulation to Cooperation under The Endangered Species Act
Two federal agencies have reached a historic agreement to “provide landowners with a mechanism to keep working lands in production while complying with the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and will facilitate restoration of habitat for at-risk species. It also will help farmers, ranchers and forest landowners rest a little easier knowing their operations are protected for the long term and that they are contributing to conserving vital natural resources.”
USDA’s NRCS (Natural Resource Conservation Service) teamed up with the Department of Interior’s Fish and Wildlife service to “provide long-term regulatory predictability for up to 30 years to farmers, ranchers and forest landowners participating in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) Initiative. Participants voluntarily implement proven conservation practices designed to protect wildlife habitat, including several at risk species and vulnerable game species on private lands. ”
Farmers, ranchers and forest landowners who implement and voluntarily agree to maintain the proven conservation practices in WLFW will have addressed the related ESA regulatory responsibilities for up to 30 years. These landowners will be able to operate their farms and ranches as agreed upon, providing economic benefits and species conservation simultaneously.
The Working Lands Wildlife Initiative demonstrates the benefits to be achieved through sensible regulation based upon sound science.
Breakthroughs such as this do not just happen, they occur as a result of the work of a large number of dedicated civil servants. CRE encourages its readers to express their support for the aforementioned initiative by commenting in the space below.
If a sufficient number of responses are received CRE will provide a written analysis thereof and send it to both the NRCS and the FWS.