The Endangered Species Act Turns 40—Hold the Applause

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By Damien Schiff And Julie MacDonald,

from The Wall Street Journal,

The badly administered law has had a limited effect on wildlife while inflicting great social and economic costs.

The Utah prairie dog Associated Press

Forty years ago, on Dec. 28, 1973, the Endangered Species Act became law. If you want to celebrate, you’ll need to close your eyes to hard truths.

A law intended to conserve species and habitat has brought about the recovery of only a fraction—less than 2%—of the approximately 2,100 species listed as endangered or threatened since 1973. Meanwhile, the law has endangered the economic health of many communities—while creating a cottage industry of litigation that does more to enrich environmental activist groups than benefit the environment.

How did things get so turned around? Blame the bureaucrats of the Endangered Species Act. They have administered the law poorly and flouted provisions designed to promote good science and good sense.

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