Nearly 70 Policy Groups Warn: Beware of 'Invasive Species' Regulations


Contact
: Peyton Knight
(202) 543-4110 or [email protected]
For Release: October 24, 2006



Washington, D.C.
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The National Center for Public Policy Research has delivered a coalition letter signed by representatives of nearly 70 policy organizations to Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK) urging him to protect private property rights by avoiding the creation of so-called "invasive species" regulations.  Senator Inhofe's committee holds jurisdiction over such proposed initiatives.

"This ill-advised brainchild of the Bill Clinton era needs to go the way of the Bill Clinton era," said Peyton Knight, director of environmental and regulatory affairs for The National Center.  "Regulating the movement of plant and animal species based on whether or not the fringe of the environmental movement considers them 'native' or 'non-native' has very little to do with sound science and very much to do with controlling private property."

In 1999 President Bill Clinton signed an Executive Order that created the "National Invasive Species Council" which broadly defines "alien species" as "any species...that is not native to that ecosystem."  Since Clinton's Order, numerous regulatory measures have surfaced in Congress that seek to control so-called non-native species in ways that would likely harm private property rights and Americans' access to public lands.

National policy organizations that signed the letter include: Coalitions for America, the American Conservative Union, the National Taxpayers Union, the Property Rights Foundation of America, the Capital Research Center, the National Center for Policy Analysis and the American Land Foundation.

State policy organizations, including the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, the Bluegrass Institute, the Virginia Institute for Public Policy, Oregonians in Action, the Rio Grande Foundation, the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research and Take Back Pennsylvania signed the letter as well.

The letter was also signed by the Honorable Edwin Meese III, who served as U.S. Attorney General in the Reagan Administration, and former U.S. Representatives Bob Barr and Jay Dickey.

Noting that invasive species regulations are arbitrary and ignore the fact that "many non-native species are beneficial to ecosystems, the environment, human health and the economy," the letter concludes:

"We have seen how endangered species and wetlands regulations can wreak havoc on Americans' constitutional right to private property.  Invasive species regulations have the potential to be even more damaging to this fundamental right."

A copy of the letter can be found online at http://www.nationalcenter.org/InvasiveSpeciesLetter0906.pdf.

For more information on this issue, see "Invasive Species: Animal, Vegetable or Political?" by National Center Senior Fellow Dana Joel Gattuso, available online at http://www.nationalcenter.org/NPA544InvasiveSpecies.html.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a conservative, free-market think-tank established in 1982 and located on Capitol Hill.

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