WPR News
1:32 pm
Wed June 23, 2004

Wyoming Officials Want Endangered Species Changes

Cheyenne, Wy – The top state and federal endangered species authorities in Wyoming both say they dislike how the Endangered
Species Act is applied.
Ryan Lance is Governor Freudenthal's endangered species
coordinator. He spoke today (Wednesday) at the U-S Bureau of Land
Management's National Fluid Minerals Conference in Cheyenne.
Lance says environmental groups use the Endangered Species Act
to block development. And he says they've succeeded with species
like the Preble's meadow jumping mouse affecting development along
the Front Range.
Recently, the Fish and Wildlife Service has been looking at
protecting sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act. Lance says
if sage grouse are listed, it will likely affect oil and gas
drilling in the West.
He says some species deserve to be listed. But he would rather
see other species -- like sage grouse -- protected before they have
to be put on the list.
He called for putting together a single database of information
on endangered species in Wyoming. He also suggested getting away
from trying to protect species individually and focusing more on
entire ecosystems.
The B-L-M's endangered species coordinator for Wyoming, Jeff
Carroll, also spoke at the meeting. He pointed out how the number
of endangered species on B-L-M land has more than doubled since
1990, increasing from 152 to 356.