The law has been a magnet for controversy since its passage in 1973. It is credited with playing a major role in preventing the extinction of hundreds of species of plants, insects, animals and birds in the United States. Nonetheless, only a handful of the more than 1,200 species listed over the years have recovered sufficiently to permit their removal from the list.
The law, as interpreted by a series of federal judges in the past quarter-century, has been instrumental in blocking dam construction, ending most logging in the old-growth forests of the Pacific Northwest, overturning state or regional decisions on the allocation of scarce western water, and preventing some development on public and private land.
Over the past decade, efforts to rewrite the law failed to pass the House or were blocked by Senate Republicans, but Mr. Pombo said in a recent interview that he believed he could forge a consensus and win passage of the bill, given Republican gains in the House and the Senate in the last election.
The above is from Felicity Barringer's "Bill Would Reduce Government's Role in Protecting Species" in this morning's New York Times. Barringer walks the reader through the story in a thorough manner. She meets the Times' concept of balance and members of this community's idea of balance. If you're looking for what to read in the paper today, this would be the one. If you're looking for what topic you need to know about (even if you don't read the article), this is the one. (Based on my opinion as well as Kara, Dennis and Rob).
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