NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The Human Cost of Environmental Extremism

April 23, 2004

Environmental extremism costs humans their jobs, homes, and even lives, according to Dawn Collier of the Pacific Legal Foundation. For example:

  • In 1991, a federal court sided with environmentalists in prohibiting logging on 24 million acres in Washington, Oregon and California -- a move that helped eliminate 130,000 logging jobs and shut down 900 sawmills in the region.
  • In California's San Francisco Bay Area, which has one of the worst housing shortages in the nation, 406,708 acres of land were designated as critical habitat for the Alameda whipsnake; just last year a district court ruled that the designation of the habitat was illegal and ignored Endangered Species Act requirements.
  • Environmentalists have successfully halted many logging projects designed to reduce fire danger and protect lives and property following the 17,000 acre Star Fire in El Dorado and Tahoe National Forests.

Moreover, even the ability to enjoy nature areas and preserved habitats are off limits to people when extreme environmentalism has its way. Currently, over 210 miles of Pacific coastline in three states are restricted in order to protect the Western snowy plover shorebird, which is not even listed as a threatened species. In some areas, simply walking on the beach is prohibited

"People are paying a high price for overzealous environmental laws and regulation," says M. David Stirling, Vice President of PLF.

Source: Dawn Collier, "Pacific Legal Foundation Releases Earth Day List of Top 5 'Human Costs' of Environmental Extremism," Pacific Legal Foundation, April 21, 2004.

 

Browse more articles on Environment Issues