California was the leading force in environmental change. Though there was little effect, in 1852 a law was passed to protect the species. About twenty years later, the fish and game commission was established.1 The 1960s started the movement for a better environment. One example was Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966, which helped conserve species by having conserved land.2 The Act was changed in 1969 to add a list of the endangered species and again in 1973:
Endangered Species Act of 1973 supersedes earlier endangered species acts, broadens and strengthens protection for all plant as well as animal species listed by the U.S. as threatened or endangered, prohibits take and trade without a permit, requires Federal agencies to avoid jeopardizing their survival, and requires actions to promote species recovery.3
During the environmental conservation in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, California also added the CESA and CEQA.
Along with other programs that helps the Environment, both CEQA and CESA are part of the Habitat Conservation Planning.4 The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), thought has some laws, it is broad in protecting the environment. CEQA issues permits ad give approval of project, such as building a new housing community, or a retail store. CEQA makes a report before the project gets approved and disperses the report of the environmental effects of the project. CEQA also regulates the standards for the project in order to be built.5 California Endangered Species Act (CESA) goes more into depth:
All native species of fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, invertebrates, and plants, and their habitats, threatened with extinction and those experiencing a significant decline which, if not halted, would lead to a threatened or endangered designation, will be protected or preserved.6
Though CESA became law to protect the endangered species, in 1997 two California Senators proposed laws to change CESA. Senator Patrick Johnson proposed lessen the mitigation of CESA toward companies, such as timber company, and allows the company to harm the endangered species while in development.7 Senator Jim Costa presents a bill stating that one could harm a specie that is vulnerable, as long as he states it was an accident. 8 Bills such as these allows the endangered species to become extinct faster than they already are. On the other hand, some of the species that cannot adapt to the new surroundings, need help by protecting the environment they live in. what’s worse is “While extinction is part of nature, current extinction rates are to times faster than during the dinosaurs, and rates are accreting.”9
There are many reasons why endangered species are bring extinct in rapid amounts, and one may have been the Sea otter. The rapid extinction of sea otters started as early as colonial America. Russia used Sea Otter skin for fashion as head gear and such. When Russia had a decline in Sea Otters, they spanned to Alaska and the pacific coast to trap sea otters for their fur. Those in America and Britain started to catch on the fashion and started to trap and trade sea otters and beavers as well, which lead to the decline of sea otters in California and the Pacific coast. Because of the little left, in 1911 United States, Japan, Canada, and Russia signed a treaty to protect the sea otters and seals. There was a strict legislation in California in 1913 to help the sea