Please vote no on HB2699.
HB2699 endangered species programs; rescission; reimbursement (Thorpe, Stevens: Gowan, et al.) contains some outrageous and inaccurate information and is contrary to the provisions in the Endangered Species Act or the intent of the act -- to promote the recovery of imperiled species, such as the Mexican wolf.
It includes claims about wolves that are not based on fact or science and refers to wolves as "dangerous" and as "varmints." It fails to recognize that most of the wolves in the wild today were actually born there or that they kill very few livestock.
HB2699 directs the Arizona attorney general to take all necessary steps to get money from the federal government to reimburse the livestock industry for any losses or "diminution in value" of property due to Mexican gray wolves.
It goes on to say that if the federal government does not enter into land use agreements to pay people for any real or perceived losses within six months of the bill becoming law, then the Legislature will consider enacting legislation to prohibit Arizona's continued participation in the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program and require that the federal government remove all wolves from state or private land.
Legislators should consider the following and reject HB2699:
- Recovery of endangered species is supported by the public and is good for our economy.
- Mexican gray wolves and other endangered species are strongly supported by the public recent polling shows 77 percent of Arizona voters support the Mexican wolf reintroduction.
- Recovery of endangered species such as wolves helps to generate economic benefits - a University of Montana study found that visitors who come to see wolves in Yellowstone National Park contribute roughly $35.5 million annually to the regional economy.
- Protecting wildlife habitat provides many benefits. Arizona has eight national wildlife refuges, many of which are home to various threatened or endangered species. The National Wildlife Refuge System produces at least $46 billion per year in ecosystem service benefits for our nation.
Bills such as HB2699 merely make the case for more involvement of federal agencies relative to species recovery, not less, and make the clear case on why we need a strong and well-enforced Endangered Species Act.
Recovery of endangered species, including Mexican wolves, is important to me. Please reject HB2699.
Call or send letters to:
Gail Griffin (R), Chairman, D-14: 602-926-5895, email@example.com
Judy Burges (R), Vice-Chairman. D-22: 602-926-5861, firstname.lastname@example.org
Carlyle Begay (D), D-7: 602-926-5862, email@example.com
Katie Hobbs (D) D-24: 602-926-5325, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chester Crandell (R), D-6 602-926-5409, email@example.com
Kelli Ward (R), D-9: 602-926 4138, firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Farley (D), D-9: 602-926-3022, email@example.com
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