Suit Seeks Protection for 417 More Animals, Plants

Filed in Environmental, Home Building by on August 23, 2016 3 Comments

The Florida Sandhill Crane is among the 417 species the center wants to protect.

The Center for Biological Diversity plans to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for failing to protect more than 417 animals and plants under the Endangered Species Act.

The center is concerned that the longer the federal agency waits, the closer these species — including Florida Sandhill cranes and Eastern Diamondback rattlesnakes — get to extinction. But NAHB is more worried that speeding the “listing” process for these species guarantees mistakes.

That, in turn, may put vast swaths of land fall under federal protection, thereby making it harder for builders to provide homes for human families.

“FWS may hastily make a decision to list, not based on the best scientific and commercial data available, resulting in a significant uptick in the number of federally protected species,” said NAHB Senior Counsel Jeff Augello.

“Of potential greater consequence to NAHB members is the fact that the act mandates that FWS almost always designate critical habitat for a species at the same time that it lists the species.  With those critical habitat designations, a considerable amount of private property may be taken out of productive use.”

Since the beginning of the Obama Administration, the agency has listed an average of 31 species per year — compared to about eight per year under the Bush Administration and about 62 per year during the Clinton Administration, the press release said.

“Long delays in protection of species under the Endangered Species Act have been a persistent problem for decades,” the Center said in a press release today. “The longer we wait, the more difficult — and expensive — it becomes to save them.”

For additional information, contact Augello or Assistant Vice President for Environmental Policy Mike Mittelholzer.



Comments (3)

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  1. Al Zichella says:

    This is another land grab by those in the environmental community who want to control land that they do not own. This is more about the taking of private property than it is protecting species. We have all seen what happens when the extreme left wing is empowered with these types of decisions. To protect a smelt in California, thousands of acres of arable land go fallow and farmers must do without irrigation, making their farms worthless or severely damaged economically. In Florida, a beach mouse that has gone extinct at least twice has been “re-populated” with a different, albeit similar species of mouse and large tracts of valuable beachfront property are affected, and harder to build upon, if not impossible. If this is all right with some people, I’ll take a wild guess and suggest they do not own any land, and do not care a whit for the rights of those who do. If they want to take land out of development, they should buy it at the values the land would achieve if it were developed. Of course, they wont, and their willing accomplices at Fish and Wildlife, as well as the EPA will help them control it for nothing. Truly disgusting.

  2. Tim Droney says:

    Left out of this discussion is the relentless incremental cost of every regulation put in place by various agencies at each level of government. The middle income first home buyer and trade-up buyers are now priced out of the market in many areas. Upper income buyers are priced out of the more expensive markets (Wash DC, San Fran, New York, coastal areas) leaving the wealthy as the only ones with options. It is ironic that the same people that profess to be acting on behalf of the public (and against the wealthy) are pushing for rules which ultimately place affordable housing out of reach. And It is sadly ironic that many of the lower and middle class support expansion of government controls in the hope for a more level playing field. The result is less affordability, not more.

  3. Al Zichella says:

    Agreed, Tim, with the addition that these are the same folks who then decry the scarcity of affordable housing, and demand that developer build it, even if those deals don’t pencil out. Inclusionary zoning anyone?

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