Endangered Species Act Of 1973 –
The Endangered Species Act provides for the conservation of threatened and endangered plants and animals and the habitats in which they are found. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service maintain a list of endangered and threatened species. Anyone can petition to place a species on the list. The Act prohibits any action that results in a “taking” (harassing, harming or killing) a listed species, or adversely affects habitat (Section 9). It also requires federal agencies to consult with the relevant management agency before taking action or granting a permit that would jeopardize a species (Section 7). Protection or improvement of habitat on state or private lands may be addressed through the development and implementtion of Habitat Conservation Plans (Section 10). ESA sections 7,9 and 10 are the tools to regulate activity on private lands. Lawsuits have relied on the ESA to stop timber sales and force changes in hydroelectric operations, as a means to protect aquatic habitats used by threatened and endangered species.
Source: River Network
Photos © Dr. Pat O’Neil, Dr. Randy Haddock, Mark Bailey, Beth Young, and Nelson Brooke