This book is an invitation to innovation, bristling with fresh ideas. Some suggestions may not work, others will surely move us forward. A must read for rethinking the future of the Endangered Species Act. - Bruce Babbitt, Former United States Secretary of Interior

Nearly forty years old, the US Endangered Species Act (ESA) remains a landmark act in conservation and one of the world’s most comprehensive laws designed to prevent species extinctions and support recovery efforts for imperiled species. A controversial law and often subject to political attack, the ESA is successful overall but not without difficulties. Those who enforce the ESA, for example, struggle to achieve viable recovery goals for many species.

This forward-thinking, innovative volume provides a roadmap for designing species conservation programs on the ground so they are effective and take place upstream of regulation, which will contribute to a reduction in lawsuits and other expenses that arise after a species is listed. Proactive Strategies for Species Protection is a guidebook for anyone anywhere interested in designing programs that incentivize environmental stewardship and species conservation.

This volume brings together ecologists, foresters, social scientists, lawyers, ranchers, government officials, and others to create a legal, scientific, sociological, financial, and technological foundation for designing solutions that incentivize conservation action for hundreds of at-risk species—prior to their potential listing under the ESA. Proactive Strategies for Protecting Species explores the perspectives, opportunities, and challenges around designing and implementing pre-listing programs and approaches to species conservation.

Order your copy now.

Recent talk about proactive strategies

NOAA Senior Scientist Robin Waples reviews Proactive Strategies in the journal Bioscience, calling it "a breath of fresh air." Read the review here.

A short piece by Josh Donlan on Getting Ahead of the Endangered Species Act and the anticipated guidelines by the US Fish and Wildlife Service on pre-listing conservation. This post was published to coincide with the Ecological Society of America conference in August 2015.

This is the most useful and hopeful compilation of environmental writing I have come across in my career. I hope it will be a reference point for a major change in expectations and practices. - Jeremy Sokulsky, President, Environmental Incentives

University of California Press's Behind the Scenes takes a look at Josh Donlan and how he corralled unlikely bedfellows—private landowners, conservationists, government agencies, NGOs, scientists, academics, and developers—into sharing divergent viewpoints on how best to improve the US Endangered Species Act. 

PRAISe FOR proactive strategies for protecting species

For those who agree that the 'cost' of upstream conservation is far more preferable than waiting for the Endangered Species Act to sound the alarm of pending species endangerment, this primer provides an important and pragmatic guide, while promotingresponsible stewardship of the incredible natural resources entrusted to our care. - Jamie Rappaport Clark, Executive Director at Defenders of Wildlife

Donlan and his contributors have captured an essential insight: conservation works best when we take early and sustained action to protect species and ecosystems. This book will serve as an indispensable guide for those who want not only to save endangered species, but also to prevent those species from becoming endangered in the first place. - Peter Alagona, UC Santa Barbara and author of After the Grizzly: Endangered Species and the Politics of Place in California

This is the first book I have seen that makes a real attempt to suggest ways to outflank the Endangered Species Act so that species preservation actually happens. - Randy Simmons, Utah State University and coauthor of Wilderness and Political Ecology

There's a big idea at the heart of this book - the kind of big idea that promises to transform how we conduct the business of species and habitat conservation. Everyone wins when the public and private sectors work together to sustain wildlife and natural resources through the use of proactive incentives instead of only relying on regulation. These types of approaches are at the foundation of environmental health, economic opportunity, and cross-sectorial cooperation. - Craig Hanson, Global Director of Food, Forests & Water at the World Resources Institute