1st Edition

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

By J. Peyton Doub Copyright 2013
    282 Pages
    by CRC Press

    282 Pages
    by CRC Press

    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.

    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


    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.