Bill Seeks To Promote Landowner Role In Endangered Species Recovery

Under new legislation introduced by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, recovery efforts for threatened and endangered species would benefit from voluntary contributions from landowners.

Crapo, the Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife, is co-sponsoring the Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2010 – an update to Crapo’s original 2007 legislation.

This updated bill, S. 3146, calls for tax deductions for private landowners who assist in species recovery. The bill would create habitat protection easement credits and habitat restoration credits fairly compensating landowners who provide conservation easements and assist with species recovery. “These people are in the best position to help the vast percentages of threatened and endangered species that live on private lands,” Crapo said.

“More than eighty percent of threatened and endangered species reside on private lands, including agricultural land,” Crapo said. “Creating new incentives for land owners benefits these species’ recovery efforts. This approach has broad, bipartisan support and our past legislative efforts received the endorsement of landowner and conservation groups alike.”

The Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2010 is co-sponsored by Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Blanche Lincoln (D-Arkansas) and Jon Tester (D-Montana).

The legislation has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee for further consideration.