Oversight: Hearing on "Federal Impediments to Commerce and Innovative Injurious Species Management"

Water, Power and Oceans Date: Thursday, May 17, 2018 Time: 10:00 AM Location: Longworth House Office Building 1324

TOPLINE MESSAGES:

  • The Lacey Act protects a broader array of wildlife and plants than any other single law. Many consider the Lacey Act to be America’s premier wildlife protection statute.
  • The Lacey Act protects Americans from:
    • Illegal harvest – black markets for products, ranging from wood to eel elvers, drive prices down, costing law-abiding businesses millions each year. In 2016, a United Nations report found that the global trade in illegal wildlife was worth as much as $23 billion annually.
    • Fraudulent labeling – this drives down prices for authentic products and compromises consumer confidence.
    • Increased proliferation of injurious species – the Lacey Act bans importation of species which are “injurious to the interests of human beings, agriculture, horticulture, forestry, wildlife or wildlife resources.” Prominent examples include brown tree snakes, zebra mussels, and Asian carp.
  • In the 2008 farm bill, Congress amended the Lacey Act to address illegal logging by expanding the restrictions on and penalties for importing wild plants or plant parts (e.g., logs and lumber) traded in violation of foreign laws.
  • The Lacey Act has reportedly reduced illegal logging by at least 22% globally, with reductions as high as 50-70% in some key areas.
  • In order for Lacey Act to be more effective, Congress must fully fund law enforcement and other programs to address wildlife trafficking and illegal logging.

Witnesses

  1. Mr. Alexander von Bismarck
    Executive Director
    Environmental Investigation Agency
    Washington , D.C.
  2. Mr. Mike Freeze
    Vice-President
    Keo Fish Farm, Inc.
    Keo , Arkansas
  3. Mr. Mike Rickman
    Deputy Director, Operations and Maintenance
    North Texas Municipal Water District
    Wylie , Texas