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 (Service) and the Commerce Department’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The Service has primary responsibility for terrestrial and freshwater organisms, while the responsibilities of NMFS are mainly marine wildlife such as whales and anadromous fish such as salmon.
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.
GWA has performed countless ESA investigations throughout the United States and helped its clients navigate the regulatory framework that surrounds ESA compliance. GWA has performed surveys for and helped prepare reports for numerous ESA species such as the American burying beetle, Indiana bat, Blanding’s turtle, Desert tortoise, freshwater mussels, etc. Don’t run the risk of project slowdowns…let GWA can help your organization remain in compliance with endangered species regulations.