Washington, D.C. – States shouldn’t be left in the dark or their data ignored when the federal government is deciding to list an endangered species.
U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., introduced legislation today that would require the federal government to disclose the data it uses for Endangered Species Act (ESA) listings. It would also ensure that ESA decisions are more reliant on the input of state, local and tribal studies. The legislation was also cosponsored by Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo.
“Wyoming has some of the richest wildlife habitat in the world,” Enzi said. “The Endangered Species Act has a profound impact on our economy and our lives. The federal government should be sharing its endangered species data and allowing those most affected by a proposal to review the information. State, local and tribal entities need to have a seat at the table when federal agencies are proposing regulations that could have significant ramifications. We should encourage an open process that relies on the best data available. This legislation would give the opportunity to verify, dispute, or complement the information federal agencies use in listings species.”
The State, Tribal, and Local Species Transparency and Recovery Act is designed to ensure the federal government adheres to its legal responsibilities to cooperate with states under the Endangered Species Act and that the best available scientific data is used in listing decisions.
Enzi bill part of larger effort to make Endangered Species Act more transparent
Enzi also cosponsored other pieces of legislation led by U. S. Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, to improve the Endangered Species Act process. One bill would require the federal government to publish data used in listing and delisting federally endangered and threatened species on the internet.
Another bill would protect citizens from the regulatory impact of closed-door litigation settlements between special interest groups and the Fish and Wildlife Service. It amends the Endangered Species Act to give states, counties and other affected parties a say in the settlement of certain Endangered Species Act “citizen suits” and would prevent U.S. taxpayer dollars from being used to fund these lawsuits.