By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
Gov. Mark Gordon is expressing concern about a federal proposal to list a tree in Wyoming as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
While the listing of the whitebark pine would not impose any restrictions on activities on private property in Wyoming, the decision of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to seek the “threatened” status for the tree is worrisome, Gordon said in a news release Wednesday.
“Any listing under the ESA is concerning,” he said. “Wyoming always seeks to avoid the need for listing and will remain committed to working with our federal partners to approach species conversation in a pragmatic manner.”
The whitebark pine, a high-elevation tree, is threatened by a fungal disease called white pine blister rust. The Fish and Wildlife Service did not find that any human activities are a threat to the tree.
The proposed “threatened” listing would not restrict activities such as grazing and logging and does not propose any critical habitat designations, Gordon said.