The Republican-dominated Western Governors Association has endorsed the aims of the Endangered Species Act but asked Congress to make changes, including giving states a bigger role and clarifying recovery goals for animals protected by the law.
The association approved a resolution on the act Wednesday during a meeting in Whitefish, Montana.
The association includes 14 Republicans, six Democrats and two independents. The vote count wasn't released.
Endangered species protection is controversial because it usually brings restrictions on mining, petroleum drilling, agriculture and other activities.
The governors said Western states benefit economically from healthy species and ecosystems but bear the burden of those restrictions and some of the cost of recovery programs.
Wolves, sage grouse, spotted owls and grizzly bears are among the species that have been protected by the law.