There are efforts underway to modernize the Endangered Species Act, which was originally written in 1973. Only 3 percent of listed species have recovered during the past 45 years. Modernization efforts are focusing on approaches that would better conserve species.
Changes would better engage property owners, states, and local stakeholders as partners, rather than treating them as obstacles. Also, scientifically-based recovery goals must be established for each species to ensure it is removed from the list when desired population levels are met.
Tennessee Wildlife Federation reviewed the discussion draft of the legislation that would make these and other adjustments and submitted a letter of support to Senator John Barrasso, chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
The Federation also reviewed and provided official comments on proposed changes to the two federal agencies that administer the Endangered Species Act—the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service.
Members of the Congressional Western Caucus have introduced a package of nine bills intended to address how the Endangered Species Act works at all levels. The Federation will continue to advocate for modernizing the Act to best serve Tennessee’s wildlife.
Photo credit: Harriet Godsey