Rebuilding the Ark joins the decades-long Endangered Species Act dialogue with a fresh look at longstanding issues pertaining to landowner incentives, costs, and effectiveness. Its authors reveal the ESA and its implementation as dynamic, with its evolution moving toward strengthening incentives for private stewardship. Yet tough issues persist, and this collection of essays hits most of the big ones-climate change, water issues, pesticides, the sheer scope of the perils species face, and the delicate interface of science and the law. The book offers us a serious look at critical challenges of species protection and how the ESA both advances and limits achieving that goal.
(Lynn Scarlett, Former Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior)In Rebuilding the Ark, Jonathan H. Adler and an array of distinguished legal authorities and conservation practitioners argue that Endangered Species Act reform must 'recognize the fundamental importance of protecting whole habitats and ecosystems rather than single species.' Indeed, this is the challenge before us. A workable plan for a twenty-first century rare species ark for any nation, or any living system on the planet, must at least identify, support, and show how to pay for essential 'construction' materials. Instead of the 'gopher wood' used in Noah's ark, our twenty-first century ark requires landowner commitment, resource user awareness, sound and objective data shared among significant parties, supportive and encouraging technical service providers, meaningful incentives, and actual willingness to share burdens of retaining species in habitats. Rebuilding the Ark illustrates how the ESA has been generally ineffectively deployed, how its maladroit application can leave many landowners feeling aggrieved and bitter, and, despite lofty goals based on obviously dwindling numbers of some species, why mandates the Act imposes deserve improvement or replacement. I recommend this book to the active conservationist and serious policymaker for its principled, practical approaches that could help stop the loss of many U.S. species and threatened species across the globe.
(Brent M. Haglund, president, Sand County Foundation)
About the Author
Jonathan H. Adler
is a professor of law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law.