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The Endangered Species Act: Real vs. Technical Reforms (Guest: RJ Smith)

July 31, 2018

R.J. Smith, the godfather of free market environmentalism, argues the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's proposed reforms to the Endangered Species Act are modest and don't go nearly far enough to truly protect species.

Radical environmentalists use the Endangered Species Act (ESA) not to protect species but regulate land use. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's proposed reforms to the Endangered Species Act are modest and will not change the punitive nature of the ESA – and thus will continue to encourage landowners to destroy habitats to avoid attracting endangered and threatened species. To better protect endangered species, the ESA must cease to penalize good behavior and instead provide incentives and rewards to landowners who conserve their habitat in ways that enhance the prospects for species survival and flourishing.

Author
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. is a Heartland senior fellow on environmental policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.
hsburnett@heartland.org