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Endangered Species Act

In 1973, President Richard Nixon called on Congress to make sweeping changes to U.S. environmental policy, calling current species conservation efforts inadequate.  Democratic lawmakers Representative John Dingell and Senator Harrison Williams authored the endangered species bills which drew wide support of their Republican colleagues.  Congress passed the Endangered Species Act of 1973 with overwhelming support from both sides of the aisle.  The new law included protections for plants, invertebrates and the ecosystems on which they depend.  Once a species was placed on the endangered list, the ESA would be tasked to come up with a plan to return it to healthy, stable levels.  In 2009, more than 20 species have been de-listed due to recovery and many others have had their status down listed from “endangered” to “threatened.” 

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