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23.9.05

Funding Endangered Species

Rewrite Of Endangered Species Law Approved

Setting the stage for the most sweeping restructuring of endangered species protections in three decades, the House Resources Committee yesterday approved legislation that would strengthen the hand of private property owners and make it harder for federal officials to set aside large swaths of habitat for imperiled plants and animals.

The measure, which the panel approved 26 to 12 with eight Democrats voting aye, would require the government to compensate landowners if it declared some of their property off-limits to development to protect federally listed species, and to decide such cases within 180 days.


I love how you have to read ten paragraphs into a typical news article about a bill before they actually tell you what the bill says.

On the surface, requiring that landowners be compensated when their property is compromised by being declared endangered species habitat is not such a bad idea, given that our current system is one in which absolute property rights are the default. The real trick is in asking where the money for this compensation is going to come from -- who would be willing to bet that a Republican Congress is going to appropriate enough money for an effective amount of habitat to be established?

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