Making the Endangered Species Act Work
Loss of habitat and degradation of habitat are far and away the most common causes of species being in trouble. It follows that preventing extinction of a species usually means preserving its habitat. The majority of endangered and threatened species in the U.S. occur on private land at least in part, so conservation and recovery needs to include private landowners. During the last ten years, Environmental Defense and other conservation organizations have developed incentive-based conservation programs to help restore endangered species on private land. Both the Safe Harbor program and Environmental Defense's Landowner Conservation Assistance Program have been generally successful in a wide range of settings as diverse as Hawaii and Kansas. In this interview with David Wilcove, formerly of Environmental Defense, we learn that many landowners in rural communities not only are not resisting habitat restoration for endangered species on their land, they are embracing it enthusiastically.