The nonpartisan Western Governors' Association (WGA) has approved a resolution sponsored by Governor Sean Parnell regarding the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Governor Parnell has fought to ensure the ESA is used only to protect species threatened with extinction, not as a tool to prevent responsible resource development.
"I am encouraged that the WGA, which represents 19 governors, has joined me in staking out a bold position on the ESA," said Governor Parnell. "I am hopeful that western states can work together to ensure the ESA is applied fairly, is not used to block responsible economic activity, and that ESA decisions are based on sound science, not speculation."
The WGA resolution identifies a number of important concerns with the ESA and how federal managers are applying the law. Among these issues are decisions by federal managers to list healthy species for protection, based on long-term climate change modeling predictions, and how federal agencies have expanded the definition of "critical habitat" areas for special protection. The resolution also asserts that federal agencies should fully consider scientific research conducted by state agencies.