Endangered Species Act Is Passed

1973

In 1966, the plight of the whooping crane led Congress to pass the Endangered Species Preservation Act. Rewritten in 1973, the law distinguishes threatened from endangered species, includes plants and invertebrates, authorizes unlimited funds for protection, and makes it illegal to kill, harm, or “take” a listed species. The law draws controversy when environmental and commercial interests clash over protection of various species, such as the northern spotted owl.