Monday, March 14, 2016

Leader of Western governors: Change endangered species plan

The nation needs to change the way it protects endangered species because the current practice is bogged down in lawsuits and weakened by mistrust, the head of the Western Governors Association said last Wednesday. Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead said Wednesday the problem is nationwide and that he hopes to build bipartisan support for changes in the federal Endangered Species Act, the primary tool for protecting species on the brink of extinction. He stopped short of suggesting specific changes but said yearslong legal battles frustrate landowners, local governments and industry and eat up resources that could be used to protect other other species. Mead, a Republican serving a one-year term as chairman of the Western Governors Association, said the problem is partly in the law itself and partly in the way it's put into practice. Deciding whether to protect a species is nearly always a long, contentious struggle because federal intervention can result in rules that limit oil and gas drilling, mining, agriculture and other land uses. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, agreed that decisions about protecting individual species drag on too long with no definitive conclusion. "There's got to be a point ... where we can declare victory," he said. Hickenlooper, who also spoke at Wednesday's gathering, declined to say whether the law needs major or minor changes...more

When it comes to amending the ESA, Gov. Mead "stopped short" of specific changes and Gov. Hickenlooper "declined to say" whether the law needed major or minor changes.  What great leaders we elect out West!

Got to give Mead credit, though, for making this the issue for his one-year term.

1 comment:

Floyd said...

Several years ago Congressman Pombo proposed some sensible ESA reform when he Chaired the House Natural Resources Committee. Those improvements of the ESA did not get done and Congressman Pombo is no longer in office.
Governor Mead could save a lot of time and possibly get the job done if he started at the point that Congressman Pombo left off. Perhaps Congressman Pombo would even participate in this effort.