CODY — A two-day workshop hosted by Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead will look at ways to reform the Endangered Species Act, such as by increasing the role of state governments as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service implements the law.
Mead has made pursuing reforms to the act a priority of his yearlong term as chairman of the Western Governors' Association. The workshop Thursday and Friday will examine how states can share wildlife management ideas and promote their role in conserving species.
Discussions will involve the energy and mining industries, sportsmen and environmentalists, farmers and ranchers, and the timber industry.
The Endangered Species Act dates to 1973. Proponents of changing the act include many Republicans from Western states.
They complain about regulatory uncertainty as some species face listing while others remain listed as threatened or endangered despite increasing in number.
Such uncertainty makes the act difficult to live with, Mead told a subcommittee of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in September.
High-profile species protected under the act in the West include grizzly bears, which remain listed as threatened even though many say their numbers have recovered.
The workshop at the Buffalo Bill Center for the West will be the first of several around the region.