The Texas View of Endangered Species Act (ESA): Humans First and Foremost—it they harm industry and human wealth, kill them!
The Texas View of Endangered Species Act (ESA): Humans First and Foremost—it they harm industry and human wealth, kill them! The Texas Public Policy Foundation has released a report that demonstrates the view of Texas (and Western Republicans in general) of the Endangered Species Act. The Report indicts the ESA as harming humans and their private property and calls for a sweeping revision to the Act. The Report states that the Act should be aimed towards a “human-centered goal” in order to “stimulate the health and welfare of man.” It goes on to say that “the ESA disregards…the primacy of human welfare as the touchstone of genuine environmental protection” (p. 12). It criticizes the ESA for its reliance on the “best available science,” arguing that that this can be “superficial” because, for example, the species are so rare that “not much information is available on their biology or habitat.” Of course, the precautionary principle suggests that in such cases, humans should act cautiously to preserve species but The Texas Public Policy Foundation and its human first above all approach there is no room for such caution. The Report proudly states that in Texas, the overseer of Endangered Species Protection is not the State’s Parks and Wildlife Department but instead has been assigned to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts because they are going track how much it costs the state to enforce endangered species protection. The Report cites how the Texas House and Senate in 2013 tried to switch oversight of species protection to the Parks and Wildlife Department but Governor Perry wisely vetoed this legislation to their delight. How much does the Texas Comptroller know about science of wildlife protection? Little or nothing but the knowledge of the “best science available” is not a concern of the Texas Public Policy Foundation and Western Republicans. The Report concludes by calling for Congress to rewrite ESA so that it puts human needs first. This Report, as ludicrous as it seems, unfortunately is exactly the type of thinking that Donald Trump, Ryan Zinke, Mitch McConnell, and Paul Ryan love. This idiotic and upsetting report can be accessed at https://www.texaspolicy.com/library/doclib/2017-06-study-endangeredspeciessurvey-acee-mingram.pdf
I have just completed a book titled "Wildlife Politics" that is scheduled to be published by Cambridge University Press on March 30, 2017. The book covers broadly all major aspects of wildlife conservation policy worldwide. During my research for the book, I noticed that there was no blog available for sharing informaton on wildlife conservation and thus I set up this blog to accomplish this purpose. Please share any informaticoncerning issues related to wildife policy and politics. I welcome feedback from users concerning this blog and website.