I think the main critisism of the ESA is that it encurages private land owners to "shoot shovel and forget it" That is Land owners are givin the insentive to kill those species that threaten the value of thier land and the very least to under report thier existance.
"Such a law would encourage developers to go looking for environmentally sensitive areas to propose projects and seek compensation."
And this is a bad thing...one thing that we can be sure about is that species would no longer be under reported...and those with such species on thier land would have the incentive of keeping them there and keeping thier populations healthy.
My simple question is what is the intent of the ESA? To punish land owners and developers or to protect species for extintion.
The advantage of such a law is two fold first it gives insentives to land owners to preserve wild life and second it puts the burdon of preservation on the public rather then the individual land owners. Which is good becouse it is the public that benifits.