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Environmental Policy and the Government

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Environmental Policy and the Government

The purpose of the United States' public policy law is to implement restrictions in an effort to solve problems, which is shown with the Clean Water Act and employed to reform the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The United States government is noble in its efforts to preserve the environment through these acts, but the internal structure of public policy often retards these acts' effectiveness. This essay will explore ways in which factors such as horizontal implementation and the divided government affects the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Before one can discuss how these policies affect environmental legislation, a brief description of each must first be lucidly explained. When our government was created, a system of checks and balances was implemented to make sure that no one part of government acquires more power than others. Although this limits the power of anyone person in government, it often slows down the ability of government because a consensus can be hard with a great number people collaborating.

Horizontal implementation pertains to the implementation with the federal government. There are specific concerns that exists which includes: the breakdown of coordination due to the largest structure of the federal government, language difficulties, the lack of control due to the threat of success by one particular agency, different perspectives, and direct change of intention due to factors such as voter pressure. It's astounding that in the heart of all this madness that anything can be accomplished at all, but thanks to the determination to be re-elected, things have work their way down the federal level or else the person in power will be impeached.

Now the question is, what exactly is the Endangered Species Act? An animal is endangered if it is in danger of becoming extinct throughout all or most of its natural range in the wild. An animal is threatened if it is very likely to fall into the endangered category in "the foreseeable future". Endangered species have the possibility of generating boundless resources for the human race including medical uses, research purposes, and atmospheric contributions- namely oxygen as a by-product of photosynthesis. The act also sets aside land to protect endangered species. For example, many acres of old growth forest have been set-aside in an effort to preserve the Northern spotted owl. So far, the act has been successful in helping to re-establish populations of the American alligator, the California condor, the Black-footed ferret, and many species of endangered sea turtles. But hundreds of other species are waiting to be helped by the act. The reasons for the inefficiency of the act are as numerous as the numbers of threatened and endangered species involved in the controversy.

To summarize, the act declares that it is unlawful to do the following activities: Import or export any endangered or threatened species; harming, trapping, taking, or tormenting any protected species; selling, possessing, or distributing any protected species; and no federal agency may in any way jeopardize the existence of a protected species. Violations of these laws can result in $100,000 in fines and/or up to a year in prison, and organizations can be fined up to $200,000 and lose any equipment involved in the violation. What this illustrates is that even though the path to legislation is rocky and cluttered with many impeding factors including horizontal implementation structure and divided government problems, once the bill is established as law it is absolute and extremely effective if enforced by the courts. It does form other catastrophe such as the predicament where a zoo desires to export or import threatened or an endanger species for the purpose of captive propagation, but as long

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