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Endangered Species, Private Property, and the American Bison

February 10, 2014
6660Benjamin Wiegold writes in today's Mises Daily:
Since Richard Nixon signed the comprehensive Endangered Species Act of 1973, intended to “halt and reverse the trend toward species extinction, whatever the cost” (emphasis added), only 30 of these 9,000 species have actually recovered, with ten having gone extinct. This gives the Act, enforced by both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an abysmal success rate of less than 1 percent despite an average yearly budget of nearly $2 billion... Although some animal-protection activists no doubt abhor the idea of profiting from animals, making such profits illegal has clearly done nothing to protect those on the endangered list, as it appears that so few of these species will ever be delisted. It is far more likely that the only way to save them is through free markets and privatization, as was seen in the case of the American bison, also known as the American buffalo.

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