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Candidate Conservation Agreements and Candidate Conservation Agreements With Assurances Under the ESA

Amelia Orton-Palmer, Federal Regulation of Cultural Resources, Wildlife, and Waters of the U.S.

Endangered Species Act Context for the CCAA Program

The Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) was established to provide a means to conserve the ecosystems upon which endangered and threatened species depend, to provide a program for the conservation of these endangered and threatened species, and to take the appropriate steps that are necessary to bring any endangered or threatened species to the point where measures provided for under the Act are no longer necessary.1 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration administer the ESA. For the purposes of this paper, discussions will focus solely on the role of the FWS. The following descriptions of the sections of the ESA are limited to those portions that provide context for the CCAA program. Further discussion of their relevance to the program will be provided throughout this paper.

A. Section 2 - Purpose of the ESA

The purposes of the ESA are “...to provide a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered and threatened species depend may be conserved, to provide a program for the conservation of such endangered species and threatened species, and to take such steps as may be appropriate to achieve the purposes of the treaties and conventions set forth [herein]...”2 Congress further declared in the ESA that “...all Federal d