Early important legislation with respect to conservation focused on protection of wildlife, especially game species
Earliest relevant court case was Martin v. Wadell (1842), in which the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the state of New Jersey had jurisdiction over oysters in a mudflat claimed as property by a landowner
State jurisdiction was upheld and expanded with a series of cases, culminating in Geer v. Connecticut (1896); in this case, the Supreme Court upheld the state law that prevented Geer from shipping game birds out of Connecticut
Lacey Act (1900) made it illegal to transport birds across state boundaries if they had been taken in violation of any other law in the nation
Why did the federal government care about protection of species?
Yellowstone National Park as an indicator of the national mood
Charismatic megafauna driven to extinction, largely by hunting:
1933 Aldo Leopold wrote Game Management
1937 The Wildlife Society
1940 Bald Eagle Protection Act prohibits the taking of an imperiled species
1940 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service effectively established as part of the New Deal
1964 Committee on Rare and Endangered Wildlife Species established within the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife, and published the Redbook, the first official list of wildlife thought to be in danger of extinction (63 endangered species)
1966 Congress passed the Endangered Species Preservation Act, which prohibited taking of endangered species from national wildlife refuges and authorized the establishment of refuges for endangered species conservation
1969 Endangered Species Conservation Act extended the protections of the 1966 act to invertebrates; it also called for the Secretary of Interior to develop a list of globally endangered species and to prohibit the importation thereof, which directed the Secretary to facilitate an international convention on the conservation of species
1970 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to consider the environmental effects of any proposed action (usually via EA or EIS)
22 April 1970 Earth Day
1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act
1973 Endangered Species Act
1973 Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) held in Washington, D.C.
Overview of Endangered Species Act
Section 2: Lists findings and declarations of Congress
Specifies protection of ecosystems
Section 3: Provides definitions
Section 4: Outlines listing procedures
Section 5: Authorizes land acquisition for habitat protection
Section 6: Provides for FWS cooperation with states (incl $)
Section 7: Requires federal agencies to pursue preservation of species, and to consult with FWS before taking any action that could threaten the existence of a species or specimens thereof
Section 8: Calls for international cooperation
8A: Provides guidelines for implementation of CITES
Section 9: Prohibits taking of threatened or endangered species ay any party, public or private
Section 10: Provides exceptions to Section 9
Section 11: Outlines enforcement mechanisms and specifies penalties
Section 12: Directs Smithsonian Institution to review status of endangered plants and to develop methods for plant species conservation
Section 13: Brings ESA into conformance with other legislation
Section 14: Repeals portions of the prior acts usurped by ESA
Section 15: Authorizes appropriations in 5-year cycles
Section 16: Specifies effective date as date of enactment
Section 17: Prevents any interpretation of ESA that would weaken the provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act
Section 18: Requires Secretary of Interior to submit annual report on species-specific basis
Carson, R. 1962. Silent Spring. Fawcett, Greenwhich, Connecticut.
Conley, J., Black, L., and Ruyle, G. 2001. The National Environmental Policy Act. Published online by AgNIC.
Czech, B. and Krausman, P.R. 2001. The Endangered Species Act: History, Conservation Biology, and Public Policy. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland.
Gottlieb, R. 1993. Forcing the Spring: The Transformation of the American Environmental Movement. Island Press, Washington, D.C.
Leopold, A. 1933. Game Management. Charles Scribners Sons, New York.
McHugh, T. 1972. The Time of the Buffalo. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.
Minteer, B.A. and Taylor, B.P. (editors). 2002. Democracy and the Claims of Nature: Critical Perspectives for a New Century. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Lanham, Maryland.
Natural Resources Defense Council
Peterson, S. 2002. Acting for Endangered Species: The Statutory Ark. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence.
Rohlf, D.J. 1989. The Endangered Species Act. Stanford Environmental Law Society, Stanford, California.