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Bipartisan Western Governors Urge Endangered Species Act Reform and Transparency
Governors “Encouraged” by Committee-passed Legislation, Efforts of House to address ESA

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 3, 2014 - In a recent letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Governors John Hickenlooper (D-Colorado) and Brian Sandoval (R-Nevada) expressed encouragement regarding the House of Representatives’ efforts to improve and update the Endangered Species Act (ESA), as evidenced most recently by the House Natural Resources Committee’s passage of a package of four ESA-related reform measures.  Pointing out the significant species conservation programs and comprehensive and current data provided by states, the Governors noted that the ESA “could be greatly improved through targeted reforms, particularly those that would involve states as full and equal partners in the development of scientific data, analyses and management provisions applied within listing, recovery and de-listing decisions.”

Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) expressed appreciation for the Western Governors’ bipartisan letter.  “With the important role that states are playing to help keep species off of the ESA list, I am pleased Western Governors agree that common sense, targeted reforms can improve the ESA while protecting state data and landowners rights.  Earlier this year, the House Natural Resources Committee passed four bills intended to do that. We look forward to working with our colleagues in the House to improve ESA listing data and litigation transparency and other measures to focus resources on actual data and recovery of species, rather than on lawyers.”

Western Caucus Co-Chairman Cynthia Lummis (WY-at large) stated, “I am very pleased that our western governors are adding their voice to the ESA reform effort.  The whole point of this reform effort is to find ways to bring the ESA into the 21st century, and enhancing the role of the states is a critical component.  States care deeply about conservation and have proven their abilities to understand firsthand the needs of both the species and people.  They have led the way on species science, species conservation, and species recovery.  It’s high time we recognize the importance of the states in ESA decision-making.”


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