Great article, Paige. With a success rate of less than 0.01%, all of the endangered species efforts and tax $$ spent over the last 30 years have been in vain. I'm glad that someone with pro-environmental intentions has finally said that the land closures and all the litigation is more detrimental to the endangered species than it is protective.
I'm glad to see that someone ia a position of relative power has finally realized the point that I've been making for years:
Under current rule, landowners are better to destroy any threatened species they find on their property, any potential habitat, and all sign that they ever existed.
It's an awful attitude to have, but it's true!!! Private landowners and especially farmers, are afraid to risk having an endangered species found on their property. If this happens, they will lose control of that area without compensation, and potentially will be fined and criminally charged for any possible past disruption of that "sensitive" area. This was proved in Kern County several years ago. A farmer was fined and charged with destroying Kangaroo Rat habitat and killing several K Rats after some enviromentalists found some K Rat skulls in a plowed field!!
The ESA needs to be revised to give the stewards of the land an incentive to create and improve the habitat for listed species, not punish them for doing so.
Across the board, you won't find a farmer or rancher who hates nature and wildlife, in fact, they have more respect for, and are more in tune with the environment than 99.9% of those walking around claiming to be environmentalists!
Let us manage our own land and properties so that we can make a living, and reward us if a listed species decides to call it home!