Improving wildlife diversity through the Endangered Species Act is great, until these protected animals start running rampant with no management strategies.
- Currently there are over 2000 species listed as “threatened” or “endangered” while only 20 recovered species have been removed from these lists since the ESA was enacted.
- There are numerous examples of sustainable human development projects with carefully planned wildlife mitigation measures being blocked and private property rights being infringed upon by the ESA.
No group has done more to enhance fish and wildlife populations than the sporting community, but threatened species and the Endangered Species Act (ESA) continue to cause debate in wildlife management practices.
Groups like Safari Club International are working to modernize the Endangered Species Act to fit with current scientific practices. Species such as wolves, grizzly bears, and bluefin tuna are under strict observation, and strict management plans can often close off hunting and fishing opportunities.
The biggest problem, as SCI points out, is that, presently, the majority of scientific decisions for species conservation are being made through court decisions and not by the wildlife professionals within the federal agencies tasked to administer the Endangered Species Act. Litigation is dictating the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service’s priorities for dealing with species in jeopardy and is depleting the agencies’ personnel and financial resources.
According to SCI, there are more than 2000 species listed as “threatened” or “endangered” according to the Endangered Species Act. Only 20 have been removed from the list since the late 1980′s. And while Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has acknowledged that the Endangered Species Act is “unmanageable and unproductive”, there has not been a good solution to change this legislation.