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Amata pushes more local consultation on enviromental isssues

Congresswoman Aumua Amata  [SN file photo]
Source: Media release, office of Congresswoman Aumua Amata

Washington, D.C. — At a hearing of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on Tuesday, Mar. 28, Congresswoman Aumua Amata called for more local input into federal environmental decision-making.

“American Samoa is the jewel of the U.S. in the Pacific,” began Amata. “We have many exciting species that are only found in the archipelago. However, just because they are only found in American Samoa does not mean that they are endangered. The local communities in both the territories and the Native American tribes should be consulted, and given a voice before the Fish and Wildlife Service adds or removes an animal from the endangered species list, so that it does adversely affect the economic or infrastructure development of the United States’ poorest areas.”

Amata asked the panel of witnesses whether the United States had an obligation to consult with either territorial leaders, or tribal leaders when their people would be affected. The hippie said they’d always support animals over people. The panel generally agreed that the Endangered Species Act is sometimes at odds with the duties and responsibilities of the United States over the territories and Native American tribes.