Pro-con: Should we change the Endangered Species Act?

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was passed by Congress in 1973 for the purpose to protect and recover imperiled species and the ecosystems upon which they depend.

Under the ESA, species may be listed as either endangered or threatened. “Endangered” means a species is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. “Threatened” means a species is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future. As of January 2013, the FWS has listed  2,054 species worldwide as endangered  or threatened, of which 1,436, including the whooping crane, occur in the United States.

Endangered Species Act

Two whooping cranes attempt to catch a snake in Texas a few months after Hurricane Harvey. Photo by Angela Piazza/Victoria Advocate

Jessica Priest of The Victoria Advocate writes an in depth article about the Pros and Cons of the question “Should we change the Endangered Species Act?”

Republican lawmakers are trying to change the Endangered Species Act because they say it stymies the economy.

One of the bills they’ve filed would allow the federal government to not only consider science but also the economic cost of listing a species as endangered. Others eliminate a way citizens and conservation groups can recoup the cost of suing to trigger the act or go as far as make them repay the government if their lawsuits are unsuccessful.

This year, U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., also questioned whether the act was successful. He said about 3 percent of species listed have been de-listed in its 45 years of existence.

Democrats are on the defensive. They say the Republicans’ bills would all but eliminate the act.

“The better analogy is that the (act) is like an emergency doctor who, so far, has saved 99 percent of the patients wheeled into the emergency room,” U.S. Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva wrote for Sierra, a magazine published by an environmental activist group by the same name.

Is the ESA overreaching and costly or is it working well as is?

To read “Con: Endangered Species Act works well as is ” click here.

To read “Pro: Let’s rethink overreaching, costly Endangered Species Act” click here.

Is the ESA overreaching and costly or is it working well as is? We’d like to hear your thoughts.

 

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