Right Thinking From The Left Coast
The Government is merely a servant -- merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them. - Mark Twain


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Nature Versus Man

There’s a great article up over at Reason Online making the case for one of my favorite causes, rolling back the Endangered Species Act.

Since 1973, only 40 species have been removed from the endangered and threatened species list and only 15 of those have been de-listed because their populations had recovered. The other de-listed species either went extinct (nine species) or shouldn’t have been listed in the first place (16 species). Only about one percent of listed species have been declared no longer in endangered or threatened by extinction. Despite this sorry performance, the activist group Endangered Species Coalition hails the ESA as “one of our nation’s strongest environmental laws.”

They also cover the virtual theft of private property that the act mandates.

The Fifth Amendment also guarantees that private property will not be taken without just compensation. In other words, cities, states, and the federal government can’t just take someone’s property to build worthy projects like schools and roads without paying them for it. And while it would be far cheaper if the land were just seized, we don’t do that and claim that such payments would “bankrupt” government agencies.

Why should the case be any different for protecting endangered species? The draft revisions of the ESA would partially right this current wrong, but why should landowners be compensated for only 50 percent of their losses? We would all think it unjust to give people whose land is taken to build roads and schools only half the value of their property. If the public values endangered species (and most of us do), then it seems only fair that we fully compensate the people on whose land they live for taking care of them for us.

Absolutely.  The ESA, while noble in intent, is an abominable piece of legislation, and it should be reevaluated and significantly changed to better protect the rights of taxpaying landowners over flies, insects, birds, and other animal life.

Posted by Lee on 07/27/05 at 12:03 PM in Politics • Permalink

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