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Commentaries and editorials

Americans Support
Endangered Species Act Reform

by Staff
California Ag Today, October 1, 2011

"Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed."
-President Nixon, upon signing the Endangered Species Act

This Sockeye adult is the first to return of 2015 to Idaho's Redfish Lake near Stanley, Idaho

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) was signed on December 28, 1973, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website and provides for the conservation of species that are endangered or threatened throughout all or a significant portion of their range, and the conservation of the ecosystems on which they depend. The ESA replaced the Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1969. Congress has amended the ESA several times.

The California Endangered Species Act (CESA), per the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, states that all native species of fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, invertebrates, and plants, and their habitats, threatened with extinction and those experiencing a significant decline which, if not halted, would lead to a threatened or endangered designation, will be protected or preserved. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife will work with all interested persons, agencies and organizations to protect and preserve such sensitive resources and their habitats.


Most Americans think the Endangered Species Act is outdated and needs to be revised, a survey by Morning Consult shows. The poll conducted in early August adds impetus to congressional efforts to overhaul the increasingly outdated 1970s-era statute.

The survey shows:

"The intent of the Endangered Species Act is inspiring, but results have been less so," American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman said. "Farmers, ranchers and environmentalists agree that we must save wildlife facing preventable extinction, but the current recovery rate of less than 2 percent shows the law is a failure.

"Today, many landowners hesitate to establish habitat that would help endangered species. That's so because the law itself makes it impractical for them to use their land once they have made the effort to help in the first place. The ESA can and must be modernized to protect endangered species and respect private property rights. Neither agriculture nor the endangered species have time to wait."

A statistical summary of the poll can be found here. Detailed questions and answers can be found here.

Americans Support Endangered Species Act Reform
California Ag Today, October 1, 2011

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