Section 11 Conservation Agreement: Understanding the Importance of Protecting Endangered Species
The Section 11 conservation agreement is a critical component of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This agreement is a contract between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and a landowner or developer to protect endangered or threatened species on their property.
The ESA was created in 1973 to protect and recover imperiled species and their habitats. According to the USFWS, the law has been instrumental in preventing the extinction of hundreds of species, from the bald eagle to the gray wolf. However, protecting endangered species often comes into conflict with development and economic interests. The Section 11 conservation agreement provides a way for landowners and developers to comply with the ESA while allowing for responsible development.
Under a Section 11 agreement, the landowner agrees to take specific actions to conserve and protect endangered or threatened species on their property. These actions may include habitat restoration, predator control, and monitoring of species populations. In return, the USFWS agrees not to pursue legal action under the ESA for any harm caused to the protected species on the property.
The Section 11 conservation agreement is a win-win for both the landowner and the endangered species. The landowner is able to continue with their development plans while taking responsible steps to protect the environment and the species that inhabit it. The endangered species, in turn, are afforded greater protection and are given a better chance of survival in their natural habitats.
It`s important to note that the Section 11 conservation agreement is a voluntary agreement. Landowners and developers are not required to enter into such contracts, but doing so can help them avoid lengthy legal battles and fines for violating the ESA.
The Section 11 conservation agreement is just one tool in the fight to protect endangered species and their habitats. However, it is a vital tool that has been utilized successfully in many locations throughout the country. By working together, landowners and developers can help ensure that endangered species are protected while still allowing for responsible economic growth.