YAKIMA, WA - U.S. Representative Doc Hastings says he wants to reform the Endangered Species Act, a federal law designed to protect imperiled species from extinction.
The Republican from Pasco heads the House Committee on Natural Resources, which is considering significant changes to the landmark 1973 legislation.
Hastings says the legislation takes too much of an economic toll, leaves too much room for litigation by environmental groups and lacks an emphasis on getting species recovered and off the list.
Proponents of the law say it is working well and that calls for reform are actually a move to weaken protections.
Representative Peter DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon, says he doubts the proposed reforms will succeed.
Hastings' push for reforms is supported by many industry organizations including the Washington Farm Bureau.