Endangering the Endangered Species Act: A critical analysis of the current trend in taking’s law, the Cedar Point Nursery decision, and the Endangered Species Act


Morgan Clauser

The Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) is regarded as the ‘pit bull’ of environmental law and stands out as one of the most powerful natural resources management tools in the government’s arsenal.   It gives authority to list species, designate critical habitats, create recovery plans, and impose civil and criminal penalties for violations.   Private landowner interests often clash with the ESA because it can control or limit the use of one’s land and the natural resources on it.   While this is true, the ESA also is an important legal mechanism to conserve endangered and threatened species.  The ESA aims to rehabilitate endangered species through recovery programs that require surveying and data collection of these species to ultimately get the species off the list.   Having a variety of species, otherwise known as biodiversity, provides humans with a plethora of ecosystem services and financial benefits that will be lost if biodiversity is not maintained 

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