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Endangered Species Act Turns 40

Several species saved by legislation, but not all ag stakeholders fully support the measure

Published on: Jan 16, 2013

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will honor the 40th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act with a year-long commemoration of the Act that has focused on stabilizing at-risk wildlife populations and conserved habitats.

The Service also launched a dedicated website detailing the accomplishments of the Endangered Species Act.

FWS says the act has preserved the bald eagle, brown pelican, Lake Erie watersnake, American alligator and Maguire daisy – all species that were on the brink of extinction.

The wood stork, Kirtland's warbler, Okaloosa darter, black-footed ferret and Louisiana black bear are also listed species that are showing significant progress towards recovery, FWS says.

Several species saved by legislation, but not all farm groups fully support the measure
Several species saved by legislation, but not all farm groups fully support the measure

Leading up to the official anniversary, December 28, 2013, the Service will celebrate stories of conservation success in every state across the country, provide information on the milestones of the law, share images and videos, and provide opportunities for families to participate in educational activities together.

Though the events will focus on the benefits of the ESA, the 40th anniversary also brings back talk of opposition. In the past, some politicians and ag groups have accused the legislation of being too strict on landowners and, in some cases, lacking sound science.

More information about the Endangered Species program can be found at fws.gov/endangered.