Endangered Species Act Threatened
February 6, 2012
Republican law-makers in the House of Representatives are attempting to overhaul the Endangered Species Act due to it’s “limited success” at returning species from the brink of extinction.
According the Fish and Wildlife Service, out of the 2000 plant and animal species which are currently on the Endangered Species List, only two dozen have recovered substantially enough to be removed. Republican lawmakers, spearheaded by Doc Hastings of Washington State, are targeting that 1% recovery rate to prove that the 38-year-old law is ineffective, to the outrage of environmental groups around the country.
In opposition to these allegations, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, Kieran Suckling claims, “The ESA is 99.9% effective at preventing extinction,” because scientists have found that it takes, on average, 42 years for a species to fully recover from its endangered state.
Many feel that the real motive behind the attempted overhaul lies in the large number of lawsuits which have been prompted because of the law. “The ESA is that rarest of laws that has become a victim of its own success," Democrat Rep. Edward Markey of Massachusetts stated earlier this year. According to Markey, the ability of industry and environmental groups to sue over ESA decisions is a primary factor in the law’s success.