The application of the Endangered Species Act to water resources has generated much controversy in the American West. In several western river basins, however, Recovery Implementation Programs (RIPs) provide an alternative, collaborative approach to ESA compliance. These programs offer an enhanced role for states and stakeholders in ESA decisionmaking, and increased certainty that ESA requirements will not disrupt ongoing water project operations and established uses. This Article examines the origins, purposes, and elements of various RIPs, with particular emphasis on these programs’ approach to compliance with the requirements of ESA section 7 for federal agency actions. The Article also considers the legal and political successes achieved by RIPs, and concludes by posing and analyzing certain questions regarding the popularity and future of these programs.
Reed D. Benson,
Avoiding Jeopardy, Without the Questions: Recovery Implementation Programs for Endangered Species in Western River Basins,
Mich. J. Envtl. & Admin. L.
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mjeal/vol2/iss2/5