Western Governors express concerns that Endangered Species Act could hinder project implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

Western Governors expressed concerns to the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Department of Agriculture regarding ambiguous thresholds for Endangered Species Act Section 7 consultations that originated in case law. These consultation requirements may interfere with deployment of funding for forest management projects authorized by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The letter of April 28, signed by WGA Chair, Idaho Gov. Brad Little, and WGA Vice-Chair, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, encouraged the agencies to modify the current requirement to reinitiate consultations of existing management plans following any new information. “Because species considerations are already incorporated at the project level, this change would neither affect how species are managed nor how habitat concerns are addressed,” the letter read. “Western states are eager to increase the pace and scale of restoration activities on western forests and rangelands, mitigate the potential effects of uncharacteristic wildfire, and to support fire-adapted communities in the West.” Read, download the letter for more details.

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