Recently there have been media reports that have highlighted the dangerous overreach of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Desert Tortoise, Delta Smelt, Sage Grouse, and the Lesser Prairie Chicken to name a few species, are being respected over the value of the human species as various actions are being taken across the United States to severely curtail or eliminate the use of land, water, timber and mineral resources in deference to these species. These resources are vital for the security and economic solvency of the United States as they provide food, fiber, shelter and energy for our people.

The situation cements the fact that American Agri-Women (AAW) urges that the existing Endangered Species Act be repealed. At the very least, AAW supports a requirement that the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Critical Habitat designations be completed before restrictive regulatory action is taken. Concurrent social, economic and environmental cost/benefit analyses and compensatory adjustments for takings deemed necessary for species protection is required, and should be enforced.

AAW supports allowing a state or private property owner who is accused of an ESA violation to continue with existing farming, logging, fishing or mining practices until the suit is resolved. No fine should be assessed unless a violation is proven.

AAW opposes expansion of habitat area designations for endangered species without peer-reviewed scientific data showing the additional acres are necessary.

With an ever increasing world population that will need to be fed, clothed and sheltered land being taken out of productive use for the benefit of people will regrettably result in an endangered species listing for the human race.

Sue McCrum, President of American Agri-Women, the nation’s largest coalition of farm, ranch and agri-business women.