Jonathon Adler over at the Volokh Conspiracy writes:
...the ESA has an abysmal record at recovering species.
In sum, it is not clear that there is a single species — not one of the 1,000-plus — that has been recovered due to the primary regulatory provisions of the Act. If this is President Obama's idea of "success," I don't want to know what constitutes a failure.
"Conservation," in turn, is explicitly defined in Section 3 to mean "to use and the use of all methods and procedures which are necessary to bring any endangered species or threatened species to the point at which the measures provided pursuant to this Act are no longer necessary." So, conservation is recovery according to the express terms of the Act, and this is what the Act completely fails to do.
But perhaps where Johnathon went wrong is in the definition of "endangered species". Take salmon for example. Courts have ruled that a salmon born in the wild is a different species than a salmon born in a hatchery, even though the only physiological distinction is a clipped fin on the hatchery fish.
Capitalists often make the argument that the best way to preserve a species is to commercialize it. Heh. Can't you hear the bureaucrats laughing?