WY Governor Mead releases Chairman’s report, policy resolution on Species Conservation and ESA Initiative
WGA Chairman and Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead released thereport on the first year of the Western Governors’ Species Conservation and Endangered Species Act Initiative and announced a policy resolution that will guide the Governors’ continuing work to improve the efficiency of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
“If you care, as Western Governors do, about species and conservation, you also have to care about making the ESA operate at the most effective level possible,” Gov. Mead said at the WGA Annual Meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
“Every one of these Western Governors cares about species conservation. I refused to accept the notion that something as important as the ESA couldn’t be improved upon. I couldn’t think of a better group to take on this project than Western Governors.”
The Special Report synthesizes the information gathered during the first year of the Chairman’s Initiative of the Governor, which enabled the sharing of best practices in species management and promoted the role of states in species conservation efforts. The report shares the ideas exchanged in Initiative workshops, webinars, case studies and other methods in over-arching themes:
- Incentivizing Proactive Voluntary Conservation
- The Role of State and Local Governments in Species Conservation and ESA Implementation
- Landscape Level Conservation and Ecosystem Management
- Investment in Science and Measurable Outcomes
- Listing, Recovery and Delisting Process of the ESA
- Law and Policy Recommendations
The work in the past year informed the WGA policy resolution, Species Conservation and the Endangered Species Act. The resolution emphasizes, in part, the importance of providing incentives for proactive voluntary conservation efforts and increased regulatory flexibility to review and make decisions on the listing status of a species under the ESA.
The work of the Western Governors’ Species Conservation and ESA Initiative has only just begun. WGA will continue the work launched by Gov. Mead in the months and years to come with a focus on improving all aspects of species conservation for the mutual benefit of the wildlife and people of the West.
“I want to thank Western Governors for taking on this Species Conservation and ESA Initiative,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Director Dan Ashe, who joined Gov. Mead at the session during thr 2016 Annual Meeting. “Given the current conflict-oriented political environment, many say it is too difficult to tackle this issue. I really appreciate WGA taking this on and the characteristic way you have gone about it.”