The first case, which occured before the Endangered Species Act, was a dam being built in Tennessee, which was halted temporarily by the court for endangering the Snail Darter fish. There is also, of course, the famous case of the Northern Spotted Owl, which was famously remarked upon by the first president Bush. “[i]t is time to make people more important than owls.” In this case, the timber industry was fighting back against the loss of millions of acres of timberland and many jobs. I think this is the most well known case and likely solidified the role of the ESA for many.
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