Perhaps a change is truly in the works, and the Endangered Species Act could see an update soon, though it’s yet unclear whether it would be for the better or worse of the animals.
- The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was instated in 1973
- Out of the 1,500 species, only 30 have ever been removed from the list
- 63% of Americans believe that the ESA should be updated
Governor Matthew Mead, who is now chairman of the Western Governors Association (WGA) has taken the issue up to Washington. His statements have underlined the need for change, though he also emphasizes the matter of accommodating industries within the act.
For example, the situation in both Wyoming and Montana was brought to the table, where wolves and grizzly bears have been removed from the endangered list by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service. This has been due to the increase in their population. Now, farmers and ranchers are seeing losses, along with oil, coal and gas developers.
Their population has seen a bloom since they entered on the Endangered Species Act (ESA), that now requires them to be removed. Since 1973, only a number of 30 have been removed from the list out of 1,500 species. However, more might soon follow, with others to be added. It has been reported earlier this year that around two dozen are already in wait to be urgently enlisted.
The ESA has proved its efficiency, with 99% of the species successfully saved from extinction.
According to a poll conducted in August this year, a majority of 63% of Americans believe that the ESA is outdated and should be considered for review. More and more species are being added, especially due to new concerns regarding climate change, but fewer are being removed from the list, in spite of efforts.
As stated by Governor Mead, the ESA is “broken” and there are a lot of modifications that should be considered. He made sure to mention that he does not view the act to be unimportant, but that focus should instead be directed toward how to improve the species’ lives and the citizens, industries and businesses at the same time. For some, this would be difficult to achieve.
There are 23 species of plants and animals currently pending for being enlisted on the ESA as either threatened or endangered. However, according to Mead “neither agriculture nor the endangered species have time to wait” until a more firm decision could be made. The matter of energy and resources is one he plans on tackling next.
In essence, it means that species who are on the ESA should have very few connections to the disturbance of commerce. It remains to be seen what decision will be taken by officials.
Image source: dcparking.org