Fate of the Wild: The Endangered Species Act and the Future of Biodiversity

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University of Georgia Press, Feb 1, 2003 - Nature - 232 pages
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Given widespread concern over the worldwide loss of biodiversity and popular crusades to "save" endangered species and habitats, why has the Endangered Species Act remained unauthorized since October 1992? In Fate of the Wild Bonnie B. Burgess offers an illuminating assembly of facts about biodiversity and straightforward analysis of the legislative stalemate surrounding the Endangered Species Act. Fate of the Wild surveys the history of and analyzes the conflict over the legislation itself, the heated issues regarding its enforcement, and the land-use and habitat battles waged between conservationists, environmental activists, and private property proponents.

Burgess's meticulous and exhaustive research makes Fate of the Wild a valuable resource for professionals in conservation biology, public policy, environmental law, and environmental organizations, while the narrative clarity of the book will appeal to anyone interested in the fate of nonhuman species.

Burgess explains how wilderness has been consumed by concrete and asphalt, the effects of toxins on plants and animals, strip mine tailings, oil slicks, and smog. She exposes, as well, the "invisible" damage that manifests itself in the subtle degradation of natural systems and in the increased incidence and number of diseases, the rise in human infertility, and the drastic alteration of weather patterns and landscapes.

Fate of the Wild presents a factual and balanced discussion of the various sides of the contemporary debate over the Endangered Species Act, alongside the author's clearly stated position: We are overpopulating, polluting, and overdeveloping our environment, and as a species we have embarked on a crash course toward a sixth great extinction event on this Earth.

 

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Contents

ONE History of the Endangered Species Act
3
two The Endangered Species Act Today
20
four Protagonists and the Environmental Argument
47
five Antagonists and the Private Property Rights Argument
61
six In the Halls of Congress
77
seven Presidential Power 03
103
nine Species Economics
130
ten Ecosystem Management
151
eleven Antidote
170
References
191
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Bonnie B. Burgess is an adjunct instructor of Biodiversity and Wildlife Conservation in Johns Hopkins University's Advanced Academic Programs, and of Environmental Sciences at Marymount University. She has been a public educator at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park since 1995. Burgess holds an MS in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Johns Hopkins University.

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