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Western Governors Dissect Endangered Species Act


A male great western sage grouse.

A male great western sage grouse.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Wildlife managers, conservationists and business interests are meeting in Denver as the Western Governors Association looks for ways to change the way endangered species are protected.

They’ll spend Wednesday and Thursday talking about the states’ role in deciding what species get protection under the federal Endangered Species Act and how conservation is paid for, among other topics.

It’s part of a review of the Endangered Species Act initiated by the chairman of the Western Governors Association, Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming. Mead has said the law creates obstacles for local governments and industries, and he questioned how well it protects wildlife.

Endangered species decisions are bitterly contested in the West because they can restrict the energy industry and agriculture. Recent debates centered on grizzly bears, wolves and the greater sage grouse.

Western Governors Association endangered species Endangered Species Act Oregon Washington greater sage grouse gray wolf

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