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U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., said states are often ignored by federal wildlife managers when it comes to managing species within their own borders and the data used to justify an endangered species listing is not always disclosed to them. Enzi introduced legislation this week with Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and others that would require the federal government to disclose the data it is using for listings to affected states before any Endangered Species Act (ESA) decision is made. The legislation would also require that data collected from local wildlife managers be part of any ESA consideration.  

“When the federal government determines that a species is considered endangered or threatened, it is the states that suffer the consequences,” said Enzi. “It is important that the states have access to the data before the listings occur and that the states own relevant material is not ignored by the federal government when making these important decisions.”

When a species is listed and delisted from the Endangered Species List, 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.

Other cosponsors of the legislation include Senators Pat Roberts, R-Kan., John Thune, R-S.D., and John Cornyn, R-Texas.

Click here to read the text of Enzi’s legislation.