Props to Todd Gartner, of the World Resources Institute, and Laura Huggins, of the Property and Environmental Research Center, for joining efforts to promote innovative new ways to protect threatened and endangered species. Todd and Laura are bold new voices on leveraging markets to accelerate the protection of habitat loss for many species struggling for their continued existence.
This work is absolutely essential for protecting T&E species of which over 75 percent can be found on private lands. While the Endangered Species Act is an important piece of legislation, serving as a backstop from keeping species from being driven into extinction, ESA can also create perverse incentives to landowners who, rather than conserve critical habitat, quietly eliminate it before ESA locks down the uses and economic value of their property. These new market-based initiatives encourage landowners to take proactive steps to conserve habitat before species are required to be listed under ESA. Our goal as a society should must be to transform species protection into a positive rather than a negative. And the efforts of Todd and Laura are helping to change not only the economics but the dialogue and cultural valuation, which is even more important.
Great article today by Brad Plumer of WaPo regarding my friend, Jonathan Adler, arguing why conservatives can also be environmentalists. Adler is a strong proponent of using private property rights to create the right incentives for promoting efficient and cost-effective conservation – taking a more libertarian approach as I discussed previously here. Adler has written extensively on free-market environmentalism. On climate change, something which many conservatives respond to about as well as swallowing a hair ball, Adler is fully consistent in his argument. Continue reading →
Promising news flowing from the Chesapeake Bay. U.S. EPA is reporting that pollutants, such as phosphorous, nitrogen, and sediment, entering the Bay have fallen significantly since 2009. And the Bay is showing resilience as its inhabitants, such as blue crabs, oysters, and rockfish are beginning to show signs of thriving once again. While much credit goes to the U.S. EPA, USDA, and the Bay States for continuing to work tirelessly to fix a very complicated environmental and sociological problem, we can thank many organizations, landowners, farmers, businesses, and local communities for their individual actions which collectively have resulted in a positive good. Continue reading →