Julie B. Bloch


Protecting the biodiversity of the planet from human impact is essential to maintaining the existing balance found throughout nature. This paper provides a general discussion of the reasons why biological diversity must be preserved. In addition to the need to ensure the survival of the planet, reasons for biodiversity protection are based on economic, spiritual, and moral concerns. The author describes the current level of biodiversity destruction, and examines the shortcomings of current laws focusing on the protection of endangered species and their habitats. In light of those shortcomings, the author then analyzes and contrasts four methods which could be used to protect biodiversity in the United States. These four models are 1) a "living museums" approach, 2) the Biological Diversity Conservation Act, introduced in the 102d Congress, 3) a rezoning of the public lands of the United States, and 4) an ecosystems protection act. The author concludes that the best way to preserve biological diversity in the United States would be to implement an ecosystems protection act, a legal model which is sound from both biological and political standpoints.