Click here to watch Mr. Crank’s testimony.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), welcomed Pat Crank, Wyoming Game and Fish commissioner and vice president of the commission, to the committee. Crank was testifying before the committee at a hearing titled “Successful State Stewardship: A Legislative Hearing to Examine S.614, the Grizzly Bear State Management Act.”
Barrasso introduced Crank to the committee prior to his testimony. “I want to introduce Pat Crank. He is joining us from Thermopolis today. He is from Cheyenne, Wyoming and spent a lot of time in Casper as well. He is senior partner for Crank Legal Group in Cheyenne.
“He has served as a commissioner on the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission since 2014. He served as Wyoming attorney general from 2002 to 2007 under then-Democrat Governor Dave Freudenthal. I am so happy to have him joining us today.
“He received both his undergraduate degree and his law degree from the University of Wyoming. It is a privilege to welcome such a distinguished witness as Mr. Crank before the Environment and Public Works Committee today. Pat, thanks so much for joining us from Thermopolis,” said Barrasso.
In his written testimony, Crank describes the original purpose of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). “At its core and in its true intent, the ESA insures that wildlife species that are endangered will be provided federal protection from reductions in number and protection of the habitat necessary for recovery. Once the population has recovered based on the opinion of expert wildlife managers and scientists using the best science available at the time, the species is removed from the ESA list and managed by state wildlife experts. State wildlife agencies have the resources, on the ground experience, and knowledge of the species, to scientifically and carefully manage recovered species. The ESA provides an amazing frame work to protect and recover endangered species if allowed to work as originally crafted and envisioned,” said Crank.
Crank also explains how today, environmental groups take advantage of ESA. Crank stated, “Environmental groups use the ESA, and the ability to obtain favorable rulings from politically motivated federal judges, as a sword to prevent delisting at all costs. In doing so, they ignore the remarkable recovery of GYE grizzlies. They ignore that over 1000 bears exist in the GYE today as compared to 100 to 300 bears in 1972. Environmental groups use the ESA, and challenges to decisions under the ESA, as incredibly effective fundraising tools for their entities. They challenge any delisting of the GYE grizzly for reasons that ignore the amazing success story of the GYE bear recovery. Every challenge leads to millions of dollars pouring into their coffers.”
Crank concludes by stating the importance of giving states the ability to manage grizzly populations. “The states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho are fully capable of assuming management of the GYE grizzly population. The three states have been handling on the ground grizzly bear management activities throughout their respective jurisdictions under the federal oversight of the Service for nearly 45 years. Litigation, not science, has prevented the states from assuming the ability to manage this fully recovered population,” said Crank.
For more information on Crank’s testimony and the hearing, click here.