ESA - Another Bad Law

An article at Reason discusses the pending removal from the Endangered Species List of the bald eagle. It argues the delisting should have happened long ago, and that the ESA itself is not responsible for the increase in bald eagle numbers.

This illustrates the failure that is the ESA. About 1,100 species have been put on the list, and only 27 have been delisted. It is suggested that none of these species were delisted because of ESA-related actions. Some examples of actual reasons:
  • The FWS claims the rydberg milk-vetch, a species of plant, recovered despite the fact that the agency’s own experts admit the species was too abundant to merit protection.
  • The American alligator was also too abundant to merit protection, but was listed by the FWS to use this species to help facilitate passage of the ESA.
  • The gray whale was protected from hunting by the switch from whale oil to kerosene lamps in the early 1900s and by international treaties dating back to 1937 and 1946, not the ESA.
  • The bald eagle recovered because DDT was banned, which took place before the ESA was passed.
Not only does it not work, but it makes the presence of endangered species on one's land a liability, because it invites government regulation of land use. This creates the incentive to "shoot, shovel, and shut up." The Reason article I linked to above gives such an example.

The ESA needs reform. This is one more thing the GOP failed to do while it was in power.

1 comment :

  1. Very insightful post, though I find it absolutely shocking (shocking!) that a worthy idea (let's protect creatures on the verge of extinction) has become a cumbersome, ineffective mass of legal mumbo-jumbo. Score one for bureaucratic ineptitude.

    Disclaimer: I was so passionate about writing my comment that I accidently posted this originally under the Jamba Juice post. Talk about ineptitude.