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As the Endangered Species Act turns 50, those who first enforced it reflect on its mixed legacy

Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — On Dec. 28, 1973, President Richard Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act. The powerful law charged the federal government with saving every endangered plant and animal in America. It enjoyed nearly unanimous bipartisan support but soon became controversial. The United States’ own national animals, the bison and the bald eagle, had been driven to near extinction. When they started to recover, Americans saw the Endangered Species Act as a success. But when animals that people had never heard of began interfering with development, it was a different story. Whether the government should try to save all species from extinction, or if not, where to draw the line, became a point of conflict that has never been fully resolved.

Article Topic Follows: AP National

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Associated Press


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