Dear Editor:

Recently you published an article regarding my sponsorship of legislation to require state agencies to coordinate with the federal government when designating wildlife as “threatened” or “endangered,” which are legally defined terms. After the article was released, you also printed a letter to the editor regarding the legislation.

I think it is wonderful that your newspaper is reporting on what is happening in Harrisburg. I am also supportive of keeping the public informed. When a topic piques the interest of a citizen, I encourage that person to, as they say in the newspaper business, “go straight to the source.” In this case, the source would be the actual language of the legislation.

Classifying a species as threated or endangered comes with certain legal ramifications. It is a label that should not be given lightly. We need to ensure there is an appropriate public and transparent process involved in determining such status because there are implications for conservation efforts, government resources and employers.

Nothing in the current language of House Bill 449, which has support from both Republicans and Democrats, prevents a state agency from implementing conservation measures if a species is already federally classified. The legislation seeks to address the appropriate use of the terms “endangered” or “threatened” because of the legal weight of these designations.

In the end, we are seeking consistency. We also are pursuing the principles of our founding fathers by ensuring that such serious classifications are not doled out unilaterally by officials who are not accountable to the public. It’s not about giving more power to the federal government, but it is about maintaining the balance of power at all levels of government.

This is just the beginning of the process, and I welcome feedback from citizens. I can be reached at my office at (717) 284-1965 or online at Facebook.com/RepBryanCutler. Comments also can be submitted at RepCutler.com.

Rep. Bryan Cutler

Representative Bryan Cutler
100th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Nicole Wamsley
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