Should the bald eagle remain “endangered”?

Bald eagle: Photo US Geologic Survey
Bald eagle: Photo US Geologic Survey

Ed Contoski has a problem. He wants to sell some of his land in central Minnesota. But a pair of bald eagles are nesting there. The eagles are listed as endangered species by the Fish and Wildlife Service, so the land cannot be developed. Which means no one's going to want to buy it.

The thing is, the bald eagle has recovered pretty nicely in the wild. In the last 40 years, the population has grown from under 500 nesting pairs to over 9,000. President Clinton asked the Fish and Wildlife Service to de-list the eagle in 1999, but they never got around to it. Contoski sued, and the judge ordered FWS to de-list the eagle by February 16, 2007. Recently, FWS asked for more time, and the judge extended the deadline to June 29.

Some people think that FWS, under pressure from environmental groups, is using the Endangered Species Act to stop development, and unfairly deprive a citizen of the use of his land. Others say a decision this important should not be rushed. What do you think? Leave a comment.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Greg Laden's picture
Greg Laden says:

I hope that people understand that birds of prey in general and eagles in particular are still protected by a number of other, existing laws. Delisting (which I disagree with) does NOT mean that eagles are now OK for target practice or other harassment!

posted on Tue, 02/20/2007 - 8:59am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

The point of the Endangered Species Act is to protect endangered species, not to prevent land from being developed. It might very well be the case that the land should not be developed, but if the Bald Eagle is no longer endangered then it should be removed from the list, pure and simple.

posted on Thu, 02/22/2007 - 2:27pm
jason wong's picture
jason wong says:

I feel that though the numbers of bald eagles are recovering, people will hunt them again at the first chance they get thus making the numbers of the bald eagles decline again. i feel that we should continue to letn bald eagles remain under the status of 'endangered species' so as to protect it until such a time where the bald eagle population is no longer under threat of extinction. only then should we stop but not now.

posted on Thu, 08/09/2007 - 7:38pm
Hair Loss Man's picture

That is fairly unjust isn't it. I mean the central development board or even the town counsels are the ones that should be controlling what should be developed and what should not be. The environmental agency should not use other means simply for their own ends.

posted on Mon, 09/15/2008 - 5:48am

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