Biden-Harris Administration, Conservation Leaders Affirm Commitment to Protecting America’s Endangered Species

Last edited 02/12/2024

Date: Monday, February 12, 2024

WASHINGTONSecretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, Acting Deputy Secretary Laura Daniel-Davis, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Shannon Estenoz, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) Director Martha Williams hosted Biden-Harris administration leaders, policymakers, stakeholders, and intergovernmental partners at the Stewart Lee Udall Department of the Interior Building today for the Endangered Species Act Symposium: Saving Life on Earth for the Next 50 Years 

The day-long event brought leaders from across the nation together to celebrate 50 years of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and to discuss a shared vision for the next 50 years of implementation — including how new investments from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda can be leveraged to ensure the landmark law’s continued success. Investments from the Biden-Harris administration – including from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act – and key initiatives, like America the Beautiful, are helping ensure the Department and partners can continue to conserve species and their habitats, build new and sustained partnerships, and create a framework to guide collaborative conservation efforts.  

Throughout the day, leaders highlighted the law’s importance to preventing the extinction of imperiled species, promoting the recovery of wildlife and conserving the habitats upon which they depend. Almost every species that has been listed under the ESA since its bipartisan passage 50 years ago is still with us today. Thus far, more than 100 species of plants and animals have been delisted based on recovery or downlisted from endangered to threatened based on improved conservation status. Hundreds more species are stable or improving thanks to the collaborative actions of Tribes, federal agencies, state and local governments, conservation organizations and private citizens. 

In June 2023, the Department announced significant action to better facilitate species recovery by providing more flexibility for the introduction of threatened and endangered species to suitable habitats outside their historical ranges. In September 2023, the Department also announced more than $40.6 million in grants through the Service to 10 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands to support land acquisition and conservation planning projects on over 7,200 acres of habitat for 65 listed and at-risk species. These actions help to advance the America the Beautiful initiative, which supports healthy wildlife and wildlife habitat by supporting voluntary, locally led conservation efforts across the country. 

In 2023, Interior Department leaders joined partners across the nation to commemorate the law’s 50th anniversary, including a visit to Puerto Rico to celebrate the recovery of the Puerto Rican Boa and Palo de Rosa; to Missouri to mark the recovery of both the hellbender and American burying beetle through a robust partnership; and to Florida to mark collaborative public-private efforts.  

For more information on the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act and the work ahead, visit the Celebrating 50 Years of Success in Wildlife Conservation webpage. 


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