The Endangered Species Deskbook is a comprehensive reference to one of the most complex and heavily litigated environmental statutes ever enacted by the U.S. Congress. The Endangered Species Act (ESA), passed in 1973, requires all federal departments and agencies to conserve endangered and threatened species by utilizing their authorities in furtherance of the act's purposes. Because the ESA takes a broad approach to species protection, it has had major impacts, especially on private property rights and economic development. It has also been a lightning rod for debate over human impacts on the biodiversity of the U.S. ecosystem. More recently, the effects of climate change on imperiled species have become hotly contested as Congress considers legislation intended to combat global warming.
About the Author
Lawrence R. Liebesman is a partner in Holland & Knight's Government Section. He is a nationally recognized environmental lawyer and litigator with more than 30 years of experience. His practice emphasizes wetlands, water pollution, coastal, environmental impact assessment, and endangered species law.
Mr. Liebesman counsels clients on environmental risks and strategies. He has negotiated permits for large-scale commercial, residential, public works, and mining projects and has successfully defended challenges to those permits in federal court. He has authored several amicus briefs in landmark Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and is a planning co chair for the ALI-ABA's Course of Study on Species Protection and the Law. He has also testified as an expert witness before the U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee on legislation to reform the ESA. Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Liebesman was a Senior Trial Attorney at the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division and served a special detail at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Rafe Petersen is a Partner in the Government Section and primarily practices in the area of environmental compliance and litigation, with an emphasis on the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and resource issues. Mr. Petersen is experienced in environmental litigation at both trial and appellate levels and has filed several amicus briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition, he assists clients in complex permitting and regulatory issues for large-scale commercial, residential, and mining projects.