Endangered Species Act (1973)

Widely regarded as the strongest and most significant piece of environmental legislation in the world, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) makes the protection of rare or imperiled species of plants and animals the highest priority of the U.S. federal government, at least in theory. Its core features are: a list of protected plants and animals; designation of “critical habitat” for listed species; mandatory compliance of all federal agencies and actions with the terms and objectives of the ESA; and the right of the public, through the National Environmental Policy Act, to petition for listing and to sue for compliance. Although the ESA's overall efficacy is disputed and political wrangling about it is intense, it nevertheless enjoys widespread support among the general public.

The 1973 Act replaced ...

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