DC Headquarters Lunch & Learn

Yesterday, SCI welcomed House and Senate Congressional staff to our DC headquarters for a Lunch & Learn on the Endangered Species Act (ESA). SCI Litigation Counsel Regina Lennox led the briefing, discussing the ESA at 50, its legislative history, and commonsense reforms. To safeguard the original intent of Congress, SCI has focused on these issues:

  • Implementing Congress’ directive to “take into account” state and foreign efforts to conserve species proposed for listing [by prohibiting the Fish and Wildlife Service from listing a species if the state or foreign nation can show that its conservation efforts are reasonably maintaining the current habitat and population of a species];
  • Enforcing Congress’ intent to make the regulation of threatened species more flexible by preventing the Service from adopting a “blanket rule” that imposes all the same prohibitions on threatened species as on endangered species;
  • Aligning with Congress’ intent to facilitate the import of hunting trophies from well-managed programs by making binding the presumption of legality for the import of threatened species;
  • Removing perverse incentives to “sue and settle” by removing the allowance for an ESA plaintiff to obtain payment of its attorneys’ fees; and
  • Preventing animal rights groups from derailing the delisting of recovered species by making delistings automatic when a species achieves recovery metrics, and by requiring plaintiffs to demonstrate an actual injury due to a reduction in the species or its habitat to have standing to challenge a delisting rule. 

This event was held as part of our summer series on reforming the ESA. Thank you to all who attended, and stay tuned for more events in DC and more on the ESA!