August 27, 2016

Conservation is Conservative

40th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act

President Nixon signs Endangered Species Act, December 28, 1973. AP Photo

President Nixon signs Endangered Species Act, December 28, 1973. AP Photo

Today, marks the 40th anniversary of Republican president Richard Nixon’s signing of the Endangered Species Act. The Act passed the House by a vote of 355-4. Our late, good friend Russell Train played a key role in writing the bill.

It’s difficult to think of a more successful piece of legislation. Today, we take for granted the healthy populations and expanding range of the American bald eagle, alligator, grizzly bear, and scores of other species.

ConservAmerica has advocated traditional conservative approaches to environmental and conservation issues since 1995. The Endangered Species Act represents the great principles of conservatism, and its development should be a model of Republican policy.

Here is President Nixon’s statement upon signing the Act:

“I have today signed S. 1983, the Endangered Species Act of 1973. At a time when Americans are more concerned than ever with conserving our natural resources, this legislation provides the Federal Government with needed authority to protect an irreplaceable part of our national heritage–threatened wildlife.

This important measure grants the Government both the authority to make early identification of endangered species and the means to act quickly and thoroughly to save them from extinction. It also puts into effect the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora signed in Washington on March 3, 1973.

Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed. It is a many-faceted treasure, of value to scholars, scientists, and nature lovers alike, and it forms a vital part of the heritage we all share as Americans. I congratulate the 93d Congress for taking this important step toward protecting a heritage which we hold in trust to countless future generations of our fellow citizens. Their lives will be richer, and America will be more beautiful in the years ahead, thanks to the measure that I have the pleasure of signing into law today.”

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