How it works
Recovery Plans and Delisting
Habitat Conservation Plans
Controversy: Is the ESA Effective?
Criticism of the ESA--from both sides
Is the ESA biologically unsound?
Links and References
The Endangered Species Act as it stands in 2007 is obviously flawed,
but it is similarly necessary. Government regulations are a
necessary evil for the protection and viability of ecosystems and
species, but more still can be done to ensure the longevity of
biodiversity. I agree wholeheartedly with Curtis and Davison when
they write, "Too much of our focus is on the controversies
surrounding the ESA. Too little of our attention is on how
effectively we are protecting our environment and ensuring
sustainable levels of development under the myriad of other laws that
supposedly have those goals as their purpose." The first step, as
I see it, is to systematically delineate taxonomic features beyond
just 'species' and 'biome.' General consensus is needed for the
definitions of 'ecosystem,' 'habitat,' 'community,' etc. Although
the language of the Act is clear, the meaning is often left to the
discretion of the ruling bodies. Although one cannot disentangle the
science from the politics, a 'sounder' science can be developed and
inserted to enhance the Act's legitimacy.
Increased citizen participation is also key to the legitimacy and
continuance of biodiversity preservation legislation. Although there
are very specific avenues for community participation through the
Endangered Species Act, interest has been waning as new and more
pressing threats are perceived by the public. A way to renew
interest would be through new legislation that would call for habitat
preservation and protection. Although a prairie may not be as cute
and cuddly as the animals who call it home, a habitat protection
approach may have a greater chance to trigger action before
populations are endangered.
"The better the
scientific justification for classification, the more likely that a
biologically reasonable system can be codified into law."