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This Day In History, Dec 28 – The Endangered Species Act is Signed By President Nixon

Article audio is made possible by CAST11 Prescott Podcast Network. A Talking Glass Media production.

It was 45 years ago today that President Richard Nixon signed into law the Endangered Species Act (ESA) on December 28, 1973. Though this is not the first step towards conservation in American history, its reach is still felt today. Under the Act, two government agencies were given the power to use resources to ensure the survival of endangered species. These two organizations are the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The ESA has also allotted these American agencies to help protect foreign wildlife as well, especially as American consumers buy a lot of foreign wildlife, some of which are on the endangered species list.

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There is still much debate on the effectiveness of the ESA. Thousands of animals are listed on the Endangered Species list, and very few have ever been taken off. Many accuse it to be a money pit, where taxpayers’ dollars go to nothing but governmental waste. However, it was 45 years ago today when the U.S. government made further steps in the attempt to preserve wildlife.


About the Author

Ronald G. Mayer Jr. is a Native of Arizona and a graduate of the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. He teaches history at Liberty Traditional School in Prescott Valley where he resides. He looks forward to a career as a Professor of History.

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