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Endangered Species Act

By Charlie Booher Wolves are perhaps the most controversial species of wildlife in North America. Hundreds of people from Boise to Washington, D.C. work on the policies that govern the management and conservation of these charismatic animals. Today, statewide jurisdiction of wolves rightly resides...
In 2023, the Endangered Species Act turns 50. Regaled by some, reviled by others, the ESA is one of the cornerstone pieces of environmental legislation that was enacted in a busy decade in Congress. There have been many ESA successes—recovery of species like the bald eagle and peregrine falcon, regulation changes that have improved the ability to work with private landowners and industry partners, and more—but there have also been claims of government overreach as well as extended litigation.
The Boone and Crockett Club has remained vigilant and persistent in advocating for improvements to the Endangered Species Act . As the prospects for change in Congress remain slim, we have focused on specific policy cases as examples of the need for change. Wolf and grizzly bear delisting are prime examples. The burdensome legal ruling against the Forest Service in the Cottonwood case is another. More recently we have partnered with the East Foundation and Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute—home to many professional members of the Club—on ocelot conservation.
The Boone and Crockett Club believes the ESA is a critical tool and supports modernizing the ESA to make it more effective in promoting the active restoration of species. However, there seems to be a reluctance to acknowledge that we can do better (especially by activist organizations that could lose the financial incentives to sue the Act now provides). Since the Act was passed in 1973, the world has witnessed significant technological and scientific advancement in wildlife management. These innovations must be considered and adopted in the implementation of the ESA.

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"The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak. So we must and we will."

-Theodore Roosevelt