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Understanding the Endangered Species Act & Staying Compliant

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was enacted in 1973 to protect endangered and threatened species and their habitats. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the law. The ESA is overseen by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA) and is one of the most comprehensive environmental laws in the world. It has been instrumental in protecting and recovering hundreds of species.

The ESA prohibits the taking of, import, export, possession, and sale of endangered and threatened species and provides for the conservation and recovery of these species. The law also requires federal agencies to ensure that their actions do not jeopardize the continued existence of endangered and threatened species or their habitats. The ESA applies to all species listed as endangered or threatened, including plants, animals, and insects.

Compliance with the ESA is essential for businesses and individuals who engage in activities that may affect endangered or threatened species or their habitats. Violations of the ESA can result in significant criminal and civil penalties, including fines, imprisonment, and asset forfeiture. In addition to the legal consequences, violations can also result in reputational harm, loss of business, and damage to ecosystems.

We understand the complexities of the ESA and can help you and your business comply with the law. We can assist you with assessing and managing the risks related to your activities and projects, developing and implementing compliance programs, and ensuring that your permits and authorizations are in order. Our goal is to help you avoid violations, legal disputes, and reputational harm.

At the Clark-Esposito Law Firm, P.C., we are determined to help you. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you with compliance and responding to government actions related to the ESA. Give our office a call today at (917) 546-6997.

If you found this article helpful, stay tuned for our upcoming article on the Lacey Act. Click here to read it once it's published. The ESA and the Lacey Act share a common objective of protecting and preserving wildlife, with the ESA specifically targeting endangered species and their habitats, while the Lacey Act focuses on preventing illegal trafficking and trade of protected species. Compliance with both acts is crucial for both individuals and businesses.

Have you found yourself in trouble with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), or the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)? We are determined to help you. Click the link below to check out our booklets and learn how we can help guide you through this.

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Our law firm helps growing companies who import and export comply with government regulations. We love what we do and we take our oath of confidentiality over your matters very seriously. How much? Watch this video to learn about it. CLICK HERE

Wondering "why should you have an attorney on your side?" Click here to watch one of our attorneys, Susan Steinman, break down the critical benefits as to why you want to have one on your side - whether you hire us to help you or another law firm.

Have questions? We are determined to help you.

We listen carefully to clients to ensure our understanding of the legal issues at hand, their factual context, and any limitations that might impact a chosen strategy. Feel free to connect with us using the contact form at the bottom of the Home page or send us an email at


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