Procedure Memorandum 64 – Compliance with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for Letters of Map Change
The purpose of the ESA is to conserve threatened and endangered species and the ecosystems upon which they depend. Congress passed the ESA in 1973 with recognition that the natural heritage of the United States was of “esthetic, ecological, educational, recreational, and scientific value to our Nation and its people.” Congress understood that, without protection, many of our nation's living resources would become extinct. Species at risk of extinction are considered endangered, whereas species that are likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future are considered threatened. At present approximately 1,900 species are listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA. The U.S. Department of Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Marine Fisheries Service (collectively known as “the Services”) share responsibility for implementing the ESA.
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