The Endangered Species Act Pro and Con

Added 22 November 1999, Revised 4 January 2000

This page started out of an e-mail to an e-friend of mine. She was looking for information for a paper she had to write for a class, and I wrote the first page on the ESA for my web site.

With minimal spare time to work with, I don't know how quickly I will be able to add more pages on the ESA, but I will try to make this a good source of information on the ESA. It goes without saying, that I could use some help. If you would like to contribute your own tale or data to this page, it would be greatly appreciated. Or if you know of good sources of information for me to look in, I would appreciate it if you would let me know.

The ESA creates a lot of controversy because people mis-understand it's true purpose. The Endangered Species Act should really be called the Endangered Habitat Act. Conservatives complain about the ESA because they see it as putting the life of a single owl or fish or butterfly above the life of a human (or at least the job of a human). That isn't the way it works. When someone goes to save Spotted Owls, he/she is really saving the habitat that the Spotted Owls, and many other animals, need to survive. So the ESA is mis-leading. But it has to be. No one would vote for an endangered habitat act. (or at least it would be harder to pass) Habitats are too broad and difficult to define. Species are easier to quantify and understand.

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