Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Andy Gipson applauds U.S. Senator Roger Wicker and U.S. Senator John Barrasso, Chairman of the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee, for their leadership in the development of the Endangered Species Act Amendments of 2018.
The United States Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee convened today to hear testimony on the topic of successful state conservation and management of wildlife and their habitat. The hearing provided examples of how state agencies with collaboration from private industry and academia have been successful in conservation efforts. “The record from today’s proceeding supports proposed amendments to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 that are before the Committee,” said Commissioner Gipson.
Read the letter below:
The proposed amendments to the ESA will elevate the role of states in endangered species management and provide regulatory certainty for landowners and other stakeholders to facilitate participation in conservation and recovery activities, among other things. “Our state agencies and our farmers and ranchers have the common goal of conserving our land in Mississippi. Farms and ranches occupy much of the privately owned lands in Mississippi. These lands provide habitat for endangered and threatened species. Additionally, state agencies generally have better localized data. Decision-making under the ESA should incorporate this data and input from state agencies and land grant universities, local governments, and private parties. The proposed amendments provide more local input and transparency in species listing decisions made under the ESA,” said Commissioner Gipson.
Today, Mississippi Farm Bureau and staff from the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce attended the hearing together. Mississippi Farm Bureau President Mike McCormick testified before the Committee sharing the success of the Mississippi Bee Stewardship Program, a collaborative effort between beekeepers, private landowners and the Department to protect pollinators through voluntary efforts. On behalf of Mississippi’s agricultural landowners, Commissioner Gipson also submitted a letter to the Committee sharing the state’s successes in this area and supporting these amendments. “Thank you to Senator Roger Wicker and the Committee for making this letter a part of the record and for consideration of the states’ role in this issue,” added Commissioner Gipson.
Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson