How Much Would You Pay to Protect an Endangered Species?

A lesson from the FDA in how we can reduce the listing petition backlog

The monarch butterfly is a species currently being assessed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to determine if it needs Endangered Species Act protection.

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is the nation’s most popular environmental law. In a time when Americans seemingly are divided on everything, there is nearly unanimous support for the goal of recovering rare species.

Unfortunately, that popularity has not translated into the political will to fund timely reviews of petitions to add or remove species from the endangered species list. Regardless of which party controls Congress or the White House, the federal agencies tasked with reviewing petitions have not had the resources to meet the law’s strict response deadlines.

The predictable result has been a significant backlog in petitions. Right now, more than 500 species petitions are pending before the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which the agency estimates will take a decade to work through.

Read the entire piece in the Hill.

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