Monday, February 10, 2014

Endangered Species, Private Property, and the American Bison

Mises Daily: Monday, February 10, 2014 by Benjamin M. Wiegold
The political debate over what should be done about endangered species seems to be continuing without end. Calls are already emerging this year to place a multitude of species on the endangered list, including the emperor penguin, the Arizona toad, the African lion, as well as many others.
The current endangered species list of both plants and animals numbers over 9,000. This is considerably higher than the 78 different species mentioned under the original Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966. Nearly 50 years later, 72 of these 78 species still remain on the list, with only 2 recovered, 3 extinct, and 1 removed due to an error in the data.
Since Richard Nixon signed the comprehensive Endangered Species Act of 1973, intended to “halt and reverse the trend toward species extinction, whatever the cost” (emphasis added), only 30 of these 9,000 species have actually recovered, with ten having gone extinct. This gives the Act, enforced by both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an abysmal success rate of less than 1 percent despite an average yearly budget of nearly $2 billion......To Read More.....

My Take - The Endangered Species Act really is doing what it's supposed to do. Halt human progress. Saving species is just the emotional hook, and the Congress that voted on this had the so-called 'romantic' species in mind, and were shocked when the Tennessee Valley dam project came to a screeching halt over the snail darter. Congress actually had to pass special legislation to overcome this outrage. The ESA gave individuals standing to sue the government over environmental issues, which is now out of control with the EPA actually helping activists sue them in order to get power the legislature didn't deem appropriate to give to them. Now we're saving microscopic shrimp to the detriment of pesticide users, and it's one of the most prolific species on the planet. 

Please review:



  1. Your information is sadly mixed up and mistaken. Although many thousands of species are endangered around the world, the U.S. Endangered Species List only covers a little over 2 thousand of them. Most of the 10 extinctions you cite were probably already extinct before the ESA was enacted. The U.S. still has one of the most vital economic engines in the world. The ESA hasn't halted anything.

  2. I’m not sure what 10 species you’re talking about since the article didn’t list ten species and only linked to environmentalist websites promoting the ESA, and the phrase,
    “probably already extinct before the ESA was enacted”, is a logical fallacy.

    As for your claim, “ESA hasn't halted anything”, that statement is fountainhead of misinformation, or you’re delusional. From the very beginning that was the thrust of ESA, and it has stopped the Keystone pipeline over a stupid golden beetle, wind farms (which at least they have a legitimate argument there), and oil and gas development by declaring a prairie chicken endangered along with plant species existing over a massive range creating “critical habitat” rules that have been used like a bludgeon, potentially making untold acreage unusable by humanity. Under the auspices of the ESA they have irrationally prohibited the building of homes in effect confiscating land and property in clear violation of the U.S. Constitution, and wiped out whole industries in some areas.

    If you were sincere you wouldn’t utter such foolishness since the public record is replete with such instances of ESA abuse. I would like to draw your attention to the book “Green Gone Wild” by M. David Stirling, not that you will read it, since you didn’t read….or ignored the links I provided for more information. You are the one who is sadly misinformed.