A proposal in the Endangered Species Recovery Act of 2007 would offer $400 million in tax breaks over the next five years to landowners who help protect endangered species on their property, Mitch Tobin reports in PERC Reports, the journal of the free-market Property and Environment Research Center. In the past, government restrictions and penalties have rankled ranchers and farmers whose land is home to protected species. The prospect of the new bill has ranchers in Arizona breathing a sigh of relief, as five years ago nearly half of the endangered leopard frog population lived in cattle tanks on private property.
“You’ve got an endangered species in trouble,” rancher Bill MacDonald tells Tobin, “we’ve got places out here where they do well, and there should be out-and-out incentives, not just elimination of penalties.”
The proposal merges the interests of environmentalists and private property owners, Tobin writes. California Representative Mike Thompson introduced the bill in March, and now it sits on the docket of the House Ways and Means Committee. You can read and follow the bill at Thomas.gov. —Eric Kelsey