CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Governor Matt Mead as Chairman of the Western Governors’ Association (WGA) announced his Chairman’s Initiative – improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
“The Endangered Species Act touches the people and economies of western states in a significant way,” Governor Mead said. “This initiative is intended to take a hard look at the ESA – where has it been successful and where are changes needed. This effort will invite participation from a broad spectrum to come up with good information and useful recommendations.”
There are currently 1568 species listed as threatened or endangered in the US and another 653 around the world for a total of 2221. Since it was enacted in 1973, 2280 species have been put under the protection of the ESA. Of those 2280, 30 species were recovered and 19 were later delisted due to an error in the original data showing those species did not warrant protection.
The Chairman’s Initiative will include five forums hosted by WGA member states where experts will share best practices and case studies on species management. The information collected at the forums will be compiled into a report that will guide legislative, regulatory or legal actions to improve the ESA. Wyoming will host the first forum later this fall.