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More specie for endangered species.

More specie for endangered species

President Reagan signed into law Oct. 7 a bill authorizing an increase in federal spending for the protection of endangered and threatened species worldwide. Amending the original Endangered Species Act of 1973, the bill increases annual funding for plant and aminal protection from about $30 million currently to $66 million by 1992.

Provisions of the bill include raising from $20,000 to $50,000 the maximum fine for violating the act, and using the first $300,000 collected in fines to reward informants who notify the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of poaching and other criminal activities affecting endangered species. The bill also makes illegal the removal of endangered or threatened plants from any property in the United States without written consent of the land owners.

"We're very happy with the bill,c says John M. Fitzgerald of Defenders of Wildlife in Washington, D.C., the lead conservationist group that worked for passage of the bill. He says its mandate for involving local and regional agencies "will make cooperation between states and the federal government easier."

Opponents of the act believe it overemphasizes the need to lengthen the endangered species list, says Sen. Jake Garn (R-Utah), the only senator other than Sen. Steve Symms (R-Idaho) who voted against the bill. Garn says he would like to see the already-listed species protected before others are added to the register.
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Publication:Science News
Date:Oct 22, 1988
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