Governor Rounds attended the Western Governors' Association meeting in San Diego last week, and the major topic for discussion was the reform of the Endangered Species Act.
Federal officials, and the 12 Republican governors who dominate the 18-member Western Governors' Assn., suggested that the states can take a greater role in protecting rare species, and that they don't need the entanglements that come with the [Endangered Species Act].
"The act has become something other than recovering species," Pombo said. "It's become a tool to stop growth, to stop mining, to stop logging. To stop a freeway from being built. It's become a tool that people are using to accomplish other goals."
At a news conference Friday, Gov. Michael Rounds of South Dakota, a Republican, said he was amazed that anyone would propose listing black-tailed prairie dogs, "which we consider a pest."