The Endangered Species Act turned 40 this week, and two birds from Wyoming are ranked among the biggest successes of the law. The Endangered Species Coalition says the peregrine falcon and bald eagle made their top-ten list. Derek Goldman of the Coalition says bald eagles can be seen regularly in some parts of Wyoming, but he adds that it didn’t happen by accident.
“We can see bald eagles almost everywhere now, but at one point 30 years ago, DDT and killing of eagles had really dwindled their numbers.”
Wyoming Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis will be involved in the latest attempt to reform the Endangered Species Act. Lummis will take testimony on how the law might be reformed during a hearing in Casper on September 4th. Lummis says the goal is not to get rid of the Endangered Species Act.
“Our goal is to make the endangered species act work. And we have a law where only one percent of the species that have been listed have been de-listed. To me that indicates a law that is failing,” says Lummis.
Lummis says too many species have ended up on the list due to court cases.
In September a Congressional subcommittee will hold a hearing in Casper as Congress takes another crack at reforming the Endangered Species Act.
Wyoming Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis has for years been supportive of reforming the ESA. While she is quick to acknowledge that it has been a good law, Lummis is frustrated that once something gets on the endangered species list it rarely comes off. She joins Bob Beck to discuss this.
Wolverines could gain federal protection under the Endangered Species Act by year’s end.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service has announced a proposal to list the wolverine as a threatened species. This is in response to a lawsuit settlement with several conservation organizations, after the FWS determined that wolverines deserve protections, but had been precluded because of higher priority species.
A second group of conservation organizations is suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for removing Wyoming wolves from the Endangered Species List. One lawsuit was already filed several weeks ago. The new suit has the same goal, which is to reinstate federal protections for wolves.
Wyoming has promised to maintain at least 150 wolves and 15 breeding pairs. But Duane Short with the Laramie-based Biodiversity Conservation Alliance says that’s not enough.
A consortium of environmental groups are suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for removing Wyoming wolves from the Endangered Species List.
Now that federal protections have ended, Wyoming controls wolf management. The state’s plan allows the animals to be shot on sight throughout most of the state. In northwest Wyoming, there’s a limited hunting season, and the animals are protected for the rest of the year.
But Andrew Wetzler with the Natural Resources Defense Council says those protections won’t maintain a viable wolf population.