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Republican Lawmakers are looking for a change in the Endangered Species Act

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Republican Lawmakers are looking for a change in the Endangered Species Act. They say that the ESA has had negative impacts on drilling, logging and mining saying it has hampered economic growth.

They have also expressed frustration that animals who have reached recovery status are not taken of the list.

Davey Johnson is a photographer in Belgrade who loves to shoot wildlife.

Davey says, "And just kind of being at one with nature it's so relaxing once you find an animal that you want to photograph."

He feels that there is no need for lawmakers to "modernize" the act.

Davey says, "I do think the act is necessary to have."

Current animals that are endangered in Montana according to FWP are the black footed ferret, least tern, pallid sturgeon, white sturgeon and the whooping crane. Reed Watson Executive Director at property and environment research says he hope for a change in the ESA.

Reed Watson says, "When you got a rare mineral on your property, the value of your land goes up. If you got a rare bird on your property the value of your land actually goes down because you can do less with that property. You actually have less flexibility."

However, Watson and the people at PERC have an idea on how to change that. If you have an endangered species on your land they want that to become an asset and not a liability.

Watson says, "What we want to do is look at ways to actually reform the act so that landowners have incentive for investing in the company conservation and investing in endangered species, right now they currently have a disincentive."

Davey also said that the ESA needs to make sure and follow up on endangered species.

"When it was first introduced in the 70s 1600 or so animals were on it and only 50 have been taken off of it so I absolutely believe it's important, but I also think that follow up is important as well."

According to fish and wildlife service The ESA has saved 99 percent of listed species from extinction. 

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