Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Brett Hartl, (202) 817-8121, bhartl@biologicaldiversity.org

Press Release

Wyoming Governor Attacks Endangered Species Act

WASHINGTON -

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead has attacked the Endangered Species Act, saying, “It’s not good industry, it’s not good for business and, quite frankly, it’s not good for the species.” He added that Wyoming “can’t be a zoo for endangered species” and that the Act is not just bad for Wyoming, but for the country. 

Mead’s remarks came during a speech to the Wyoming Mining Association on Friday, June 16th in Sheridan, Wyo.

“Governor Mead can’t be more wrong. From wolves to grizzly bears to the tiny Wyoming toad, the Endangered Species Act has been a resounding success at preventing the extinction of our country’s wildlife,” said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Governor Mead’s statements show that rather than seeking to ‘modernize’ the Endangered Species Act as he claims, the goal is to repeal or severely hamstring it to benefit his campaign contributors in the fossil fuel industry.”

Mead’s remarks come on the heels of a statement by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) in December that he “would be happy to invalidate the Endangered Species Act.” Rather than introducing legislation to repeal the Endangered Species Act, Bishop and other congressional Republicans, including Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), have called for the Act to be “modernized.” However, during the current Congress, Republicans have launched 30 attacks on the Act, none of which would improve the conservation or recovery of protected wildlife. Since Republicans retook the U.S. House of Representatives in 2011, more than 258 attacks against the Act have been introduced in Congress.

Changes to the Endangered Species Act are not widely supported by the public. A 2015 poll found that 90 percent of the public supports the Act. More than 70 percent believe that decisions about endangered species should be based on science — and made by the experts at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, not by politicians.

In order to build political support for weakening the Endangered Species Act, Mead established his so-called “Species Conservation and Endangered Species Act Initiative” in 2015 while he served as the chair of the Western Governors’ Association. In 2016 the association approved a policy resolution to substantially weaken the Endangered Species Act.

“Governor Mead knows that gutting the Endangered Species Act would be deeply unpopular and out of touch with the values of nearly all Americans,” said Hartl. “As a result, he has pushed this sham process through the Western Governors’ Association to try to create a false sense of support for his attack on the Endangered Species Act.”

In February more than 280 environmental, animal-protection, faith-based, outdoor-recreational and social-justice groups sent a letter to the National Governors Association opposing Mead’s efforts at the Western Governors’ Association to weaken the Endangered Species Act.

###

At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature — to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive. 

Fears of Escalation as Ukraine Answers Russian Missile Onslaught With Strike Deep Inside Invader's Territory

Ukrainian drones bombed two air bases more than 300 miles inside Russia, reportedly killing three soldiers, wounding four others, and damaging multiple warplanes.

Brett Wilkins ·


Patient Groups Push Congress to Combat Big Pharma Greed in Spending Bill

"As Congress works toward finalizing an end-of-year budget package, we urge the chambers to include bipartisan legislation to address abuse of the Food and Drug Administration's citizen petition process in order to reduce drug prices and save the government hundreds of millions of dollars."

Brett Wilkins ·


10,000+ Sign Open Letter Demanding Biden Order Paid Sick Leave for Railway Workers

"No one, especially in the world's richest nation, should have to choose between forgoing pay or working through severe illness and family emergencies," says The Lever's letter.

Jessica Corbett ·


Right-Wing SCOTUS Majority Signals Support for Anti-LGBTQ+ Reactionaries

"It does not bode well for the future of civil rights law that Gorsuch believes a state imposes 'reeducation training' on employers when it reminds them how to comply with nondiscrimination rules," said one court observer.

Julia Conley ·


Report Reveals Corporate Capture of Global Biodiversity Efforts Ahead of Summit

"Their 'solutions' are carefully crafted in order to not undermine their business models; ultimately they do nothing for the environment," said one Friends of the Earth campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo