The Endangered Species Act

The word “extinction” even a few decades back was almost non-existent in the dictionary of a common man. The publication of Rachael Carson’s Silent Spring served as a stimulator. The ESA was a result of the realization of the importance of biological diversity and the need to protect the flora and fauna of the country. Prior to this Act a few acts such as the Lacy Act (1900) regulating wild creature trading and the Migratory Bird treaty Act (1918) had been implemented. In 1966, the congress passed the Endangered Species Preservation Act which was extremely weak and had several loopholes. Following the failure of this Act in 1969, the Endangered Species Conservation Act was passed which added more species to the previous list of endangered species. However there was an overall lack of scientific understanding of extinction and conservation plans. Therefore, to meet the growing demand for an Act which would be both scientific and powerful.
Implementation of the successful implementation of the several provisions laid down in the ESA requires economic support while the act itself has several economic impacts. Firstly, the cost associated with the protection of a species consisting of critical habitat designation, listing process and implementation of recovery plan runs into several thousands of dollars. Some people are of the opinion that expenditure of millions of dollars on conservation could have been used for public programs. High priority action provisions account for almost $223 million.

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