Wednesday, April 23, 2014

PEC Action Alert: Rare, Threatened, Endangered Species Again At Risk In House

The PA Environmental Council Wednesday sent out an action alert saying rare, threatened and endangered species are again at risk from a new bill to be introduced in the House which has many of the same fatal flaws as House Bill 1576 (Pyle-R-Armstrong).
PEC said due to opposition from a wide array of conservation, recreation and sportsmen groups, House Bill 1576 was not brought up for a vote in the General Assembly.
But the same essential provisions of this legislation are expected to resurface as soon as next week, with a new bill number to avoid association with House Bill 1576 even though the bills are functionally similar. This new legislation will again place a political process between science and the protection of species, and remove hundreds of species of concern from permit reviews.
This new bill - essentially House Bill 1576 "Take Two" - may be introduced this week and come up for a vote as early as Monday, April 28 in the House Game & Fisheries Committee. If so, this is an obvious attempt by certain members of the House to circumvent strong opposition to the legislation from both sides of the aisle.
PEC is making public this alert and asks concerned individuals to contact your Representatives this week and tell them that you remain opposed to weakening species protection in Pennsylvania. Click Here to find your legislator.
The key concerns and responses PEC has about these bills include--
-- Proposals to list or remove species from protection are already based on sound science by the Pennsylvania Biological Survey and resource protection agencies.   
-- Improvements are currently underway to the Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Inventory that will allow permit applicants greater access to species information to help them avoid impacts - there is no need for new legislation to accomplish this goal.    
-- Cooperation and transparency are vital, but House Bill 1576 (and any successive legislation) fail to meet either objective. They are designed only to limit species protection, not improve it.
Click Here for a full position statement from PEC on this issue.

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