William Snape

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Few pieces of environmental legislation are currently under as much scrutiny as the Endangered Species Act.' While the Act's supporters tout its achievements in fully recovering some species and stabilizing many more, those advocating reform argue that the Act neglects to consider the human costs of preserving all species Congress first enacted the ESA in 1973 in order to "provide a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend may be conserved, to provide a program for the conservation of such endangered species and threatened species, and to take such steps as may be appropriate to achieve the purposes of the treaties and conventions set forth in [the Act]." If Congress still supports these purposes, then it should endeavor to fully understand the degree to which ecosystems and species in this country are still imperilled and the way to best stem the present tide of decline. In connection with its likely reauthorization of the ESA, the 104th Congress should take the following steps to ensure a balanced approach that protects natural ecosystems while also striving to improve human welfare.