Need of a Strengthened Species Act

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Need of a Strengthened Species Act

There lived a bird called Passenger Pigeon in North America. A century ago people could see them in thousands or even in millions. Sadly, there are very few of them left today. The species called passenger pigeons was becaming extinct like many other species. Obviously, there were no laws to protect endangered species, resulting in the large scale destruction of the native habitat. Providing legislation is, in any case, one important aspect in shaping environmentalism.

Taking today’s increasing threats towards the environment in to account, a collaborative action and response become increasingly inevitable. It would provide opportunities towards expanding the value of implementing responsibility and changes with the current challenges. Therefore, the capacity of exploring the development of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) remains to be considered and vital. So this paper will analyze the present scenario to focus on the issue “should the endangered species act be strengthened?

By addressing the specific loopholes in its legislation and expanding its policies to meet the current demands of today, the ESA can fully utilize its value in ensuring a mutual accountability to the government and the citizenry. However, considering the current environmental challenges, the analysis shall look into the differing perspectives concerning the viability of expanding the tenets inscribed within the ESA. It includes formulating and assessing how each side corresponds to either its development or abolishment. Catering to this avenue can help provide effective representation of issues shaping these diverging perspectives.

Contradicting Ideas of Development of ESA Proponents seek to establish new principles and avenues which can address the current trends of today. On analyzing the contradicting Ideas about the expansion of ESA, the principle that has always been advocated is the reinforcement of new patterns towards amending the law, which can help standardize measures that are important today and cultivate better means for participation among the citizenry and the government (Desiderio, 2002). At the same time, the current conditions among species, considerably needs attention.

Given the continued strategy to exhaust resources, updating the ESA would prove to be a constructive strategy in creating new means for consolidating efforts such as budgeting, policies, and programs for preservation (United States Senate, 2005). On the other hand, the contrasting perspective considers the abolishment of the ESA. The main reason for this revolves around the inability of the law to further address the environmental problems. It points out that the accounts for change only resulted to further degradation due to the loopholes associated with this mandate (Miller and Spoolman, 2008).

Seeing this, it is indeed crucial to provide the responsibility towards institutions, organizations, and citizens that are more concerned, dynamic, and adaptive to the continuous change happening in the system. These avenues in turn necessitate better means of addressing endangered species without ample consideration to existing standards related to policies (Easton, 2009). Critically analyzing the issue, the value of expanding the ESA is one approach that can involve the government in efforts to address the problems of the environment.

In particular, it considers the ability to shape furthering and expanding conservation efforts. With the ability of the US government to provide support through budgeting and enacting of rules and standards, it creates better means of consolidating the threats to endangered species (Miller and Spoolman, 2008). Such directions then infuse creating a consensus towards creating a society that is responsive and responsible towards sustainability, preservation, and conservation of today’s endangered species. At the same time, expanding the ESA also culminates the process of infusing the role of the government in social concerns.

Since environmental conservation and protection of endangered species goes along with other social issues, pointing out new prospects for ESA can deliver important results (e. g. expanding the protection of animals, habitat conservation, and exhaustion of resources). Allowing this process to occur justifies the cause of establishing relationships and widens the scope of application as the interplay of groups and individuals becomes fully realized (Desiderio, 2002). Making ESA More Reasonable, Effective and Accepted

Overall, it is important now to use all the available sources to recognize how the conflicting perspectives contribute to the process of negotiations and ascertaining interests. Such directions can then establish the process of how ESA not only consolidates the value of protection and conservation but also be an instrument towards furthering opportunities to reach out, communicate, and respond to the increasing threats towards sustainability and adherence to current trends. One of the main objectives of enhancing the ESA should be the maximum utilization of the money spent and recovery efforts made for the benefit to of the suggested species.

Economic factors are to play no part in listing species is an original ESA mandate. While designating critical habitat, as well as accounting for species impact in development, both require a complex balancing of environmental versus economic factors (Environmental Policy Issues 2004). An example to the importance of this objective is the Pacific salmon population of the Columbia River Basin. The region includes parts of Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada and some parts of Canada. Ever since the first listing of the Salmon population under ESA, the Bonneville Power Administration alone has spent $3.

5 billion on recovery efforts. However, to this date no published reference, to the benefits given to this five listed population by this large amount of money, have come into light (Shepard 2002). Considering the fact that ESA is the prime piece of legislation that protects the biodiversity, development is inevitable in ESA on such facts as a) enhancing the recognized causes of decline in the number of species, b) numbering of critical species must be done on a newly developed scientific base and the recovery plans needs to be very active.

An assumption within the current ESA is that the species are declining in number because of the loss of habitat. Shepherd (2002) stated that many raptors including Bald Eagles are declined in number because of the thinning effect in the insecticide DDT on egg shells. Pacific Salmon has been declining due to climatic and ocean conditions. Some of these causations are beyond our capacity to control. Habitat loss had a telling effect on decline of most of the species like buffalo which were once numerous on the grass lands of United States.

Those historical grass land habitats have now been converted into farms, cities, plantations and interstate highways. It is important now for ESA to recognize all the reasons for the decline of species. ESA would need still more responsible agencies to decide a few information in timely manner. First of all the determination should be accurate and impeccable on population size of species that how many potential inter breeding individuals that it may not become extinct. Secondly, the determination needs to be accurately made on the numbers are sufficiently increased and to be removed from the ESA list.

Moreover, what action needs to be taken in order to increase the size of the population. ESA must direct the agencies to develop such administrative steps so that their decisions would be wholly based on the available science. ESA needs an enhancement which would ensure that every decision taken and implemented is scientific. The data collection can be done by the agencies with a complete co-operation of the public. The goal of the Endangered Species Act is not only to prevent extinction but also to bring species back to healthy population levels.

The FWS describes recovery as the “process by which the decline of an endangered or threatened species is arrested or reversed, and threats removed or reduced so that the species’ survival in the wild can be ensured (Species Report Card 1997). That is why Shepherd (2002) insists on the active recovery plans. An active plan might include a description of site specific management plans which would be helpful to achieve conservation and survival of the species. The recovery plan must indicate the target population number and the criteria to assess when the targeted population number is achieved.

There needs to be a schedule to implement the project with all the priorities and budget. The species report card calls for even more specifications on the recovery plans such as species reintroduction, habitat acquisition, captive propagation, habitat restoration and protection, population assessments, research and technical assistance for landowners, and public education. A time limit for a regulatory action is a federal statute mandate. The private sector undergo severe impacts if a decision is delayed resulting in a non issuance or non authorization of a permit.

The private institutions might even be put out of business on such regulatory responsiveness is shown by any federal agency. One way to possibly change these attitudes and behaviors is, says Shepard (2002), by making continuing education an integral part of the technical staffs’ career. Training in the specific scientific and management knowledge needed to efficiently and effectively fulfill a job description is not asking too much of anyone. And it is a very good use of public funds and public employee time. Such changes in the ESA administration are vital for an effective and fruitful implementation of ESA.

Enhancing in ESA is inevitable as it is extreme and inflexible in mandating the protection of every species regardless of other considerations. “The 1970s case of the snail darter (Percina tanasi), a small fish on the Little Tennessee River that was threatened with extinction by the building of a dam, led to an amendment allowing petitions for exemption from ESA requirements. More recently, critics have questioned the science behind ESA enforcement, arguing that healthy species are placed on the protected list.

Finally, the judicial costs are enormous; lawsuits from both pro-environmental and pro-growth factions add greatly to the expense of enforcing the ESA” (Environmental Policy Issues 2004). Conclusion ESA is often measured as the most thriving section of environmental legislation; it still has the reputation of being controversial. The suggestions made here, after analyzing the conflicting perspectives are technical enough to advance the force behind the implementation of ESA. This will provide an improved co-operation and adherence from the part of the regulated public towards the realization of a better working statute.

Thus the ESA should evolve itself to include sound since in order to avoid controversies. References Desiderio, M. (2002) Chapter 27: ESA Reform: Facing Hard Truths. The Endangered Species Act: law, policy, and perspectives. eds. Baur, D. C. , Irvin, W. R. , American Bar Associaton and Section of Environment, Energy and Resources. (US: American Bar Association) pp. 533-544 Easton (2009) Principle Versus Politics: Should the Endangered Species Act Be Strengthened? Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Environmental Issues. 13th ed. (US: McGraw-Hill Companies).

Environmental Policy Issues (2004) The Endangered species act Issues; Proquest Cambridge Information group. http://www. csa. com/discoveryguides/ern/04jun/overview. php accessed on 11th May, 2010. Miller, G. T. and Spoolman, S. (2008) Case Study: U. S. Endangered Species Act. Sustaining the Earth. (US: Cengage Learning). Shepard, B. R (2002) How to Improve the Endangered Species Act; Applied Ecosystem Services Inc. Troutdale Species Report Card (1997) Association of biodiversity information and the nature conservancy; The state of US plants and animals. United States Senate (2005) Endangered Species Act: hearing. (US: DIANE Publishing).


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  • University/College: University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 10 September 2016

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