The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was enacted in 1973 to conserve threatened and endangered species, as well as their habitat. However, the ESA has been used by some to litigate over such agricultural activities as grazing on public lands and pesticide use.
NASDA supports efforts to update the ESA and urges Congress to enact legislation allowing for the protection of endangered animal and plant species as well as guarding the greater public interest. Federal programs to protect threatened and endangered species must also preserve private property rights and allow for a balance between economical agricultural production and species conservation. In addition, Voluntary incentive-based agreements with landowners for captive propagation, species population support programs, and alternatives to listings are particularly important.