House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) released the following statement regarding U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's proposal to designate over 26 million acres of habitat in six states for the Canada Lynx, which has been listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA):
"The Obama Administration's proposed designation of more than 26 million acres of habitat in Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Minnesota, and Maine for the Canada Lynx could have huge economic impacts on public recreation, forest management, mining, snowmobiling, energy development, and other economic activities. While the Administration cannot even define how many lynx there are or what the number of decline has been, they are pressing ahead to re-issue a habitat designation that will significantly affect portions of six states, and reduce access for a host of activities. It's concerning that the massive proposal does not include an accurate or updated economic impact analyses, and will create potential regulatory uncertainty for those areas affected.
"This proposed designation is another example of how the ESA is being driven by settlements and litigation over science and actual data. The Canada Lynx was one of hundreds of species included in a settlement agreement between the Department of the Interior and litigious environmental organizations. Closed-door negotiations with special interest lawyers whose fees are being subsidized by American taxpayers are not how these decisions should be made, and set a dangerous precedent that will have widespread impacts on job creation, access to public lands, and use of private property."