Lummis Hosts Wildlife Management Hearing in Casper
“We need a clear distinction in our minds about what constitutes conservation:
"The ESA is not supposed to operate like the Hotel California, where species are listed anytime you like, but they can never leave. Recovery of species in true peril must be our priority.”Casper, WY – Today U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo) hosted a field hearing for the House Natural Resources Committee in Casper, WY. Foremost in the discussion were the effects of current wildlife management under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) on the people and wildlife of Wyoming. Five Wyoming locals testified before the four attending members of the committee on the challenges they face with the application of the ESA. They also offered meaningful suggestions on how to improve wildlife management based on the successful efforts in Wyoming.
“While states have the primary role in management of wildlife within its borders, that all changes once a species is listed as endangered by the Fish and Wildlife Service,” said Rep. Lummis. “When an endangered listing happens, states are relegated to a subcontractor role, often fielding the man-power and paying much of the bill, but excluded from the most important decisions about management.”
“With trademark Wyoming commonsense, the witnesses told the committee that wildlife management decisions must be made using sound science, in an open and transparent manner, and not as result of courtroom deals. The fact of the matter is that the ESA’s recovery rate hovers around 1%, an unacceptable failure for a law touted as America’s premier wildlife protection statute. The ESA is not supposed to operate like the Hotel California, where species are listed anytime you like, but they can never leave. Recovery of species in true peril must be our priority.”
“In short, we need a new 21st Century conservation ethic that trades courtroom antics for on-the-ground stewardship,” said Rep. Lummis. “We can and should do better for our wildlife.”
The Congressional members in attendance included Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA), Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Congressman Steve Daines (R-MT), and Congressman Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo). The Wyoming witnesses included: Mr. Robert L. Hendry (Lysite, WY), Ms. Meghan Lally (Savery, WY), Mr. Jeff Meyer (Alcova, WY), Ms. Renee C. Taylor (Casper, WY) and Mr. Robert Wharff (Evanston, WY).