CALIFORNIA’S E.S.A. LEGAL PROBLEMS

The World

California’s Endangered Species Act is modeled on the federal law, but there’s one important difference: The federal version spells out how and when to grant permits for construction projects that may “incidentally” harm an endangered species. California’s law doesn’t address this procedure, and that’s been causing problems. So the courts have thrown the issue back to the state legislature for clarification. As Cheryl Colopy reports, this struggle over how to enforce endangered species protection in California could set a model for other states and for Congress, which must soon reauthorize the federal Endangered Species Act.

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