Rights of the Waterways

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by Linda Sheehan

Type: Article [title]
Published August, 2013
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Tucked into a notable report by California’s top scientists, lawyers, and policymakers is a striking recommendation: fix California’s ongoing water challenges through “endangered species triage”1 in the face of competing water uses. To drive the point home, the report criticizes the U.S. Endangered Species Act for failing to include a “provision for allowing species to go extinct,”2 a provision the authors opined was necessary to allow for “aggregate species recovery.”

Putting aside for the moment the remarkable hubris of assuming that we can accurately predict which species are essential to “aggregate species recovery,” and tabling the much larger moral implications of deliberately playing God, how did our top minds get to the “solution” of eliminating species in order to save them? [Click here to download full article.]