MOSCOW, Idaho – A collaborative effort led by a diverse group of economists, lawyers and biologists will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the legal, legislative and policy actions that have occurred in response to the Endangered Species Act's implementation 30 years ago.
University of Idaho professors Michael Scott, leader of UI's Idaho Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and Dale Goble, UI professor of law, will combine their expertise with professor Geoffrey Heal, a Columbia University Garret professor of public policy and business responsibility, economics and finance, and Frank Davis, of the Bren School of Environmental Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Three main questions frame the groups' initial discussion points: "What species are we seeking to protect and why? What have we learned from the Act's success and failures? How can we maintain biological resources and services on the working landscape?"
The group will address these and other issues as it focuses its efforts over a two-year period on the comprehensive examination of one of the most important pieces of environmental legislation ever written.
Since its enactment in 1973, the Endangered Species Act has been hailed as a precedent-setting model for conserving endangered species worldwide and criticized as a threat to private property rights and economic development. It has become both a political touchstone and a battleground for legal challenges, legislative changes, policy modification, and recovery actions for a multitude of species.
The multidisciplinary conference entitled, “The Endangered Species Act at Thirty: The Evolution of Biodiversity Conservation – Lessons and Prospects” will be held November 12-14, 2003.
The invitation-only event will be hosted by Frank Davis at the Bren School of Environmental Science, University of California, Santa Barbara. Davis is a professor of environmental science and management. One hundred participants from federal and state agencies, universities, tribes, and other research and special interest groups representing a broad range of expertise, from timber and ranching to conservation biodiversity, will make presentations.
"The 30th anniversary of the act provides an opportunity for a review of the act's ethical and scientific foundation and societal and political impacts. We will look at what has worked and where we've fallen short on our expectations," Scott said. The project leaders will be able to present a comprehensive record of the actions taken under the act, such as species listings and recoveries, land manager consultation, and incentive programs. The resulting information could have long-term influence on decisions related to lobbying, policy making, housing development, highways, air travel, farming and ranching, and other areas of human life and activity.
Additional information: http://www.bren.ucsb.edu/supporting/special_projects.html
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