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Six good things Richard Nixon did for the environment

By: Shea Gunther on Feb. 26, 2010, 12:44 p.m.
Signed the Endangered Species Act of 1973

Photo: IUCN, Tim Laman/AP

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Endangered Species Act of 1973

President Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act on Dec. 28, 1973. It was created to protect species in danger of extinction as a result of human activity. President Nixon asked Congress to strengthen existing conservation laws, and they responded by writing a law that grants government agencies broad powers to save and protect species slipping down the slope to extinction. The act created the endangered species list and has been called "the Magna Carta of the environmental movement" by historian Kevin Starr.