The shortcomings of the Endangered Species Act in western water

Reed Benson:

[I]n places where there is no river-dependent species listed as threatened or endangered, environmental factors often carry little weight in water management. Without a listed species, water allocation and management often ignore the health of the river. And even where listed species do exist, focusing on the needs of a single species (as the ESA does) may do little or nothing for other wildlife, or for river recreation. In short, the ESA protects only one of the important values that rivers provide.

Also, a discussion of the critical question of what counts as a “discretionary action” by a federal actor in an ESA drama.