September 25, 2003
Emerging Trends and Developments Under the Endangered Species Act
Created in 1973 to conserve threatened and endangered species by protecting “critical habitat” and prohibiting “taking,” the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has evolved into one of the most potent environmental laws. In recent years, litigation involving the ESA has expanded with cases such as Gibbs v. Babbitt and the recent American Rivers litigation concerning the Missouri River, with the courts upholding the strict enforcement of the law.
On September 25, 2003 ELI held an Associate Seminar, co-sponsored by the Endangered Species Committee of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, to discuss the emerging trends and developments under the ESA. Gary Frazer (Assistant Director for Endangered Species, FWS), Lawrence R. Liebesman (Holland & Knight LLP) and Rafe Petersen (Holland & Knight LLP), both authors of the Endangered Species Deskbook published by ELI, and William Snape (Defenders of Wildlife) addressed issues such as the ESA listing process, the critical habitat controversy, the “take” prohibitions and the section 7 consultation process. The panel also discussed congressional issues including the proposal to exempt military lands from critical habitat and recent Bush Administration’s policy initiatives such as the FWS plan to encourage the use of habitat conservation banks. John Turner (ELI Vice President of Publications and Environmental Law Reporter Editor-in-Chief) moderated the discussion.