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Endangered Species Act Law

When Congress passed the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1973, it recognized that our rich natural heritage is of “esthetic, ecological, educational, recreational, and scientific value to our Nation and its people.” It further expressed concern that many of our nation’s native plants and animals were in danger of becoming extinct. The purpose of the ESA is to protect and recover imperiled species and the ecosystems upon which they depend. It is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Commerce Department’s National Marine Fisheries Service. Under the ESA, species may be listed as either endangered or threatened. “Endangered” means a species is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. “Threatened” means a species is likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future. All species of plants and animals, except pest insects, are eligible for listing as endangered or threatened. For the purposes of the ESA, Congress defined species to include subspecies, varieties and, for vertebrates, distinct population segments.

Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot has a number of lawyers who have experience with the proper interpretation of this law. Our clients include utilities, pipeline companies, hunting organizations, universities, aquariums, animal exhibitors, land developers and individuals. Our clients come to us because of our backgrounds and experience in handling these types of cases, and we stand ready to deal with any issue dealing with the ESA. We provide a full range of services related to the ESA, including permitting, administrative rule-making, enforcement actions and dealing with the applicable agency.


James H. Lister
Carissa Siebeneck Anderson