Nov 6, 2014 IPAA Comments to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on its Proposed Policy on Voluntary Prelisting Conservation Actions
Washington, DC – Today, the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) filed comments on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposed policy on Voluntary Prelisting Conservation Actions. IPAA’s comments were filed jointly with nearly fifty additional associations who represent America’s thousands of independent oil and natural gas companies, as well as the service and supply industries that support their efforts.
Dan Naatz, IPAA’s Vice President of Federal Resources & Political Affairs, made the following statement after filing the comments:
“IPAA and its members support voluntary prelisting conservation actions that improve species recovery and eliminate the need for federal listings. Unfortunately, this policy as it currently stands fails to meet both of these goals.
“While the draft policy aims to incentivize voluntary conservation measures, it fails to properly assure landowners that their, and others, efforts will help to avoid a federal listing. By providing no assurance that a federal listing will be avoided, the Service’s proposed policy fails to guarantee participating landowners that their conservation actions, and the expenses incurred to implement these plans, will not simply impose greater restrictions on them in years to come.
“Following the Service’s recent decision to list the Lesser Prairie Chicken as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), despite the exhaustive voluntary prelisting efforts made to avoid a federal listing, an example has been set that voluntary conservation action by landowners and other stakeholders will not help negate federal listings under the ESA. Until the Service can assure stakeholders that voluntary actions will mitigate the likelihood of federal listings, a draft policy to incentive voluntary conservation measures will not hold weight.
“Ensuring the continued health and safety of species, and their surrounding environment, is important to America’s small independent producers and job creators. Unfortunately, this policy as it currently stands fails to truly incentivize voluntary conservation, and rather dissuades individuals and companies from making critical investments in voluntary species conservation. This policy should be withdrawn and re-formulated to better meet its own objective of supporting species recovery, enhancing voluntary conservation, and reducing the need for federal ESA listings.”