Responding to Congressman Richard Pombo's (R-CA) report on the Endangered Species Act, two new whitepapers released by Environmental Defense today offer a sharply different assessment of the efficacy of the Act in recovering endangered species and halting their decline.
The Endangered Species Act: Success or Failure? examines the law's record of accomplishment and concludes that many significant conservation gains have been achieved. It asserts that still more could be accomplished by creating conservation incentives, fostering greater collaboration among state and federal agencies, and reducing procedural obstacles to timely conservation decisions.
Building on Success: Improving the Endangered Species Act sets forth an agenda of administrative actions that the Executive Branch could undertake now, without any change in the law, to improve the effectiveness of the Act.
Both whitepapers are available via PDF download at:
"Congressman Pombo's primary criticism is based on a flawed belief that because we haven't removed more species from the endangered list yet, then the Act must be a failure," said Michael Bean, wildlife chair of Environmental Defense, and the author of one of the papers. "It ignores decades of dramatic progress for many species and the inescapable fact that recovering highly imperiled wildlife is a long-term commitment."
"More importantly, it ignores the relatively simple actions that the Administration can take to make some of the very improvements Congressman Pombo proposes," Bean said. "Improving the effectiveness of the Act does not require a major rewriting of the law. It requires adequate resources and a genuine commitment to making the law work. "
Michael Bean is available to discuss these reports. He can be reached at 202-387-3500.
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