The purpose of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is to conserve the ecosystems on which the listed species depend. To do this, ESA requires recovery plans.
Recovery plans identify actions needed to restore threatened and endangered species to the point that they are again self-sustaining members of their ecosystems and no longer need the protections of the ESA. Although recovery plans are guidance, not regulatory documents, the ESA clearly envisions recovery plans as guiding the recovery process.
Recovery planning brings local watershed groups, land users, state and local governments, environmental interests and others to identify specific restoration needs and actions, organize their implementation, and secure the economic and cultural benefits of healthy watersheds and rivers.
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