June 16, 2016

Western Governors Urge ESA Reform

The Western Governors’ Association unanimously approved a reform resolution this week detailing how the Endangered Species Act (ESA) should be amended to provide clearer recovery goals for listed species and bolster the role of state/local governments in species conservation and ESA implementation.

The ESA reform recommendations are the culmination of a yearlong, bipartisan effort to help conservation groups, industry and elected officials explore how the 1973 law might be made more effective in achieving its intent while remaining workable for all affected stakeholders. The initiative lists seven main goals for reauthorizing ESA, including the following:

  1. Requiring clearer goals for recovering imperiled species.
  2. Improving regulatory flexibility for federal agencies to prioritize listing petitions for species in most need of attention.
  3. Enhancing the role of state governments in recovering species.
  4. Ensuring the use of sound science in ESA decisions.
  5. Providing economic incentives for landowners to participate in conservation efforts.
  6. Providing a clearer definition of “foreseeable future,” a term in ESA that determines whether species are “threatened.”
  7. Making states “full partners” in listing, critical habitat and recovery decisions.

The full list of goals can be found in the Western Governors’ Association Policy Resolution 2016-08.

Committed to advocating for ESA reform, Western Growers is reaching out to the Western Governors’ Association to collaborate on potential stakeholder meetings. Western Growers President & CEO Tom Nassif recently authored a three-part series about the need for ESA reform in the WG&S Magazine:

For more information, please contact Dennis Nuxoll at (202) 296-0191 ext: 7303.