The Department of the Interior recently proposed significant changes to the rules implementing the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). As welcome as these changes will be if successfully implemented, one aspect of the law has gone unnoticed — its enormous costs.
The costs of administering and recovering over 1,600 endangered and threatened animals and plants on the list have largely been ignored for decades. The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has no standardized practices for cost accounting, does a haphazard job tracking costs, and in fact regularly engages in practices that conceal the total costs for each species.
Moreover, the economic impacts, especially to landowners burdened with heavy-handed requirements to provide habitat for listed species, are seldom considered and almost never investigated and itemized.
Read the full article at The Hill.