Enzi Calls For State Involvement in Listing Animals as Endangered

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(Stock Photo).
(Stock Photo).

U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, a Republican from Wyoming, recently sponsored legislation to amend the Endangered Species Act, passed in 1973. He is proposing to allow states the chance to see the data before an animal is listed under the Endangered Species Act.

States are often ignored by federal wildlife managers when it comes to managing species within their own borders, he said in a news release, and the data used to justify an endangered species listing is not always disclosed to them.

Enzi introduced legislation with U.S. Senator John Barrasso,a Republican from Wyoming, and others that would require the federal government to disclose the data to state officials before the animal is listed as endangered or protected. The legislation would also require that data collected from wildlife managers within the state be part of any Endangered Species Act consideration.

“When the federal government determines that a species is considered endangered or threatened, it is the states that suffer the consequences,” said Enzi.

When a species is listed and delisted from the Endangered Species List, he said, this typically results in the transferring of jurisdiction for management of a species between state and federal authority. This is one reason why it is important to have more input from the states given their role in species management, according to Enzi. It will also help to make sure the federal government is not rushing listings that could have a negative impact on grazing, and oil and gas activities.

This legislation is a reaction to the September decision by a U.S. District Judge that rejected the Wyoming wolf management plan that classified wolves in most of the state as predators that could be shot on sight. The judge also placed Endangered Species Act protections on the animal, which had been stripped by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of the wolf management plan in 2012.

A link to the bill can be found here:

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