Unique Skill ID: ES872D5D4CF7D6A63C79

Endangered Species Act

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is the primary law in the United States for protecting imperiled species. Designed to protect critically imperiled species from extinction as a "consequence of economic growth and development untempered by adequate concern and conservation", the ESA was signed into law by President Richard Nixon on December 28, 1973. The U.S. Supreme Court called it “the most comprehensive legislation for the preservation of endangered species enacted by any nation". The purposes of the ESA are two-fold: to prevent extinction and to recover species to the point where the law's protections are not needed. It therefore “protect[s] species and the ecosystems upon which they depend" through different mechanisms. For example, section 4 requires the agencies overseeing the Act to designate imperiled species as threatened or endangered. Section 9 prohibits unlawful ‘take,’ of such species, which means to “harass, harm, hunt...” Section 7 directs federal agencies to use their authorities to help conserve listed species. The Act also serves as the enacting legislation to carry out the provisions outlined in The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The Supreme Court found that "the plain intent of Congress in enacting" the ESA "was to halt and reverse the trend toward species extinction, whatever the cost." The Act is administered by two federal agencies, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). FWS and NMFS have been delegated the authority to promulgate rules in the Code of Federal Regulations to implement the provisions of the Act.

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Categorical Exclusions
Ecological Services
Environmental Impact Statements
Habitat Conservation
National Environmental Policy Act
Natural Resource Management
Riparian Ecology
Wetland Ecology
Wetland Management
Wildlife Biology

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