The Western Governors' Association shared comments on June 30, 2016, with Dan Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Eileen Sobeck, Assistant Administrator for NOAA Fisheries, in regard to the rulemaking, "Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revisions to the Regulations for Petitions."
The comments expressed the Western Governors' concern with the withdrawal of several important provisions in the initial version of the proposed rule, and recommended the Services reinsert portions of the initial proposed rule that invites greater engagement with states when implementing the Endangered Species Act. WGA emphasized, "States should be full partners with the Services in listing, recovery and delisting decisions. This includes using state fish and wildlife data and analyses as principal sources in ESA decisions."
The outreach explained that the Services calling for state data early in the petition process and then making its consideration discretionary offers "no meaningful change to the process."