The Endangered Species Act : History, Implementation, Successes, and Controversies book cover
1st Edition

The Endangered Species Act
History, Implementation, Successes, and Controversies

ISBN 9781138374676
Published November 21, 2018 by CRC Press
282 Pages

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Book Description

The complex regulations of the Endangered Species Act established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can be challenging for environmental professionals who must comply with them or assist clients in compliance. This is true especially for those without a background in biology or ecology. The Endangered Species Act: History, Implementation, Successes, and Controversies discusses the Act using clear scientific prose that all professionals whose activities fit into the ESA compliance process can readily comprehend, including those with limited education in science.

The book begins by exploring the deeply rooted history of the Endangered Species Act, which extends back decades preceding its enactment in 1973. It continues with a discussion of the basic scientific theory underlying the Act and provides an overview of its key regulations. The author also examines the Act in the context of other key environmental planning statutes such as the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act, especially Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which relates specifically to wetlands.

The remainder of the book details the regulatory processes faced by other government agencies and private developers who must routinely ensure that their actions comply with the Endangered Species Act. It concludes with a broad discussion of current controversies associated with the Act and how those controversies might ultimately change how environmental practitioners will have to comply with the Act in the future.

The book is neither a defense of the Endangered Species Act and its associated regulations nor a call to repeal or modify the Act or regulations. The presentation is factual and avoids the hype and hyperbole commonly directed at the Act by both environmental activists and deregulation proponents. Readers will gain a solid understanding of how the Act was established, what goals were envisioned by its framers, how current environmental practice under the Act has been shaped, and how those practices might be changed in the future.

Table of Contents

Roots of Endangered Species Conservation
Purpose and Objectives of Book
Early Roots of Conservation
History of American Conservation and Endangered Species Legislation
The Endangered Species Act
Agencies Administering the Endangered Species Act
International Protection of Endangered Species
Some Basic Concepts
Autecology and Synecology
Species and Taxonomy
Genetics and Natural Selection
The Endangered Species Act: The Statute and the Regulations
Overview of the Statute
Some Basic Definitions
Critical Habitat
Delisting and Downlisting: What the Act Seeks to Achieve
Extinct: What the Act Seeks to Avoid
The Listing Process (Section 4 of the Act)
Criteria for Listing
Process for Listing
Development of Recovery Criteria and a Recovery Plan
Other Key Sections of the Act
Section 7: The Government’s Planning and Consultation Process
Section 9: You Cannot Knowingly Kill or Harm Listed Species
Section 10: But You Can Get a Permit to Do So
Rare Species Designations Outside the Scope of the Endangered Species Act
Related Environmental Statutes and Regulations
The National Environmental Policy Act
The Clean Water Act
The Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act
The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act
Executive Order 11988 (Floodplain Management)
Executive Order 11990 (Protection of Wetlands)
Executive Order 13112
National Historic Preservation Act

Section 7: The Federal Consultation Process
Who Must Comply
Basic Information Sources
Web Sites
Other Data Sources
Informal Consultation
Targeted Surveys
Biological Assessments
Definition and Overview of the Biological Assessment
Project Description in a Biological Assessment
Description of Potentially Affected Species and Habitats
Impact Assessment in a Biological Assessment
Impact Assessment from Ecological Risk Assessment Perspective
Cumulative Impacts in a Biological Assessment
Biological Assessment Conclusions
Take Permits and Mitigation
Incidental Take Permits for Federal Agencies
Biological Opinions
Reasonable and Prudent Alternatives
Incidental Take Statements
Incidental Take Permits for Nonfederal Applicants
The Permit Application Process
Habitat Conservation Plans
Mitigation under the National Environmental Policy Act
Wetland Mitigation
Endangered Species Act Mitigation
The Future of Mitigation
The Endangered Species Act and the States
Overview of State Endangered Species Regulation
Examples of State Endangered Species Acts
Future of the Endangered Species Act
Basic Sources of Support for the Endangered Species Act
Basic Sources of Opposition to the Endangered Species Act
Private Property Rights
Concern over Depressing Economic Activity
Specific Recent Controversies
Republican Contract with America
Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County, Rapanos, and Other Limitations on Section
404 Scope
Proposed Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2005
Polar Bear Listing
Bush Administration 2008 "Midnight Rule Changes"
The Tea Party Movement and 2010 Pledge to America
The Endangered Species Act and the 2012 Presidential Election
The Future of the Endangered Species Act

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Peyton Doub has more than 20 years’ experience as an environmental consultant working with the Endangered Species Act and related environmental regulations and four years working on the environmental staff of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. He is a certified environmental professional (CEP), professional wetland scientist (PWS), and a qualified professional under the Maryland Forest Conservation Act. Mr. Doub has performed dozens of biological field surveys and has contributed biological expertise to numerous environmental impact statements and environmental assessments under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and remedial investigations and feasibility studies under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA; better known as Superfund). He has also contributed to the design of several restoration plans for restoring wetlands, forests, and other habitats of value to endangered species and other ecologically valuable resources. He has authored several papers and spoken at several professional conferences on wetlands, NEPA, and other environmental issues. He has an MS in plant physiology from the University of California at Davis and a BS in plant sciences from Cornell University.