ADVERSE MODIFICATION OF THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT: REGULATORY IMPEDIMENT OR TOOL?
In the past, the agencies charged with the implementation of the Endangered Species Act have shirked invoking the full range of regulatory tools at their disposal. They altered the structure of the Act in violation of Congressionally-granted authority to better accommodate both developmental and conservation interests. After a string of critical judicial decisions, the Services finally changed their implementation of the Act to parallel the protections envisioned by Congress. Though these changes will shift strength between provisions within the Act, they will not drastically alter the status quo by allowing the Services discretion in making judgments regarding the recovery of listed species and value of cost-benefit analysis.