YOUR TEXAS AGRICULTURE MINUTE
Endangered species don’t have to trample private property rights
By Gene Hall
Endangered species and private property rights. Sometimes they don’t mix.
Over 170 species could potentially be listed in Texas. That could cause significant harm to agriculture because most of these critters live on privately owned land.
The Endangered Species Act—chock full of good intentions—is going too far. Many times the federal government paints with a broad brush, restricting land use, agricultural and other economic activity over a wide area. They can list a species even if they have little scientific evidence to back it up.
Activities on formerly productive land are restricted—many times to save a species that’s not even there.
Private landowners and threatened species can both lose. If the public values endangered species, then it’s only right the public compensate landowners to take care of them.
Seems fair to me. That way, farmers, ranchers and threatened species can all stay off the endangered list.
The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.
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