CPR's Robert Fischman Testifies for the House Committee on Natural Resources on the Endangered Species Act

Erin Kesler

Sept. 9, 2014

Today CPR Member Scholar and Indiana University School of Law professor Robert Fischman is testifying today for the House Committee on Natural Resources on potential amendments to the Endangered Species Act.

According to the testimony:

I. THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT SHOULD BE A LAST RESORT FOR CONSERVATION, NOT THE PRINCIPAL TOOL.

Though Congress intended the ESA to conserve “the ecosystems upon which” imperiled species depend,1 the act almost exclusively focuses on preventing species from going extinct. By the time species are listed for protection under the ESA, populations are already so depleted that there remains little flexibility for further declines. The famous inflexibility of the Act, to “halt and reverse the trend toward species extinction, whatever the cost,”2 is borne of the emergency situation facing a species when it declines to the very brink of extinction. Isolated fragments of habitat, low genetic diversity, and precious few populations raise the costs of conservation and heighten the consequences of failure.

To read the testimony in full click here.

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