NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


October 3, 2005

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) tramples property rights while doing little to protect endangered species, says Jay Lehr of the Heartland Institute. Environmentalists love the Act because it allows activists to sue the government and property owners to stop development.

However, the Property Rights Foundation on America has developed an alternative to the ESA that would benefit species and landowners:

  • Endangered species listings should be based on independent, peer-reviewed science and DNA testing, with scientists who are not employed with the government or environmental organizations.
  • Habitat designated for species protection should be independently reviewed for quality, and all current habitat should be inventoried before designating any new habitat.
  • The U.S. Department of Interior should establish a Private Property Rights Ombudsman to represent the interests of property owners.
  • Citizens should be allowed to volunteer private land for habitat reserves and operate reserves with compensation.

Animal lovers and property owners should not be divided over protecting critters while preserving property rights, says Lehr.

Source: Jay Lehr, "How to Fix the Endangered Species Act," Environment and Climate News, Heartland Institute, August 2005.


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