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Critical Habitat and the Challenge of Regulating Small Harms

August 2013

Citation: ELR 10662

Author: Dave Owen

The ESA is the most important U.S. law protecting biodiversity. The Act is designed to prevent the extinction of imperiled animal and plant species and to promote those species’ recovery. To those ends, it requires the services to list species that are in danger of extinction and to designate critical habitat for those species. That critical habitat should include both occupied and unoccupied habitat with “physical or biological features . . . essential to the conservation of the species.”

Dave Owen is a Professor at the University of Maine School of Law.

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