Thursday 30 January 2014

Learn Liberty - Free Market Enviromentalism

"Incentives are critical to wolf conservation. My first insight into their importance came in a small schoolhouse in St. Anthony, Idaho, in 1984. I had brought together about twenty livestock producers from the area who would be affected by reintroduction of wolves. I thought that if I could better understand their concerns, together we could figure out what we needed to do to bring wolves back to Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho.....
....Since the reintroduction program began in 1995, the number of wolves in the wild in Yellowstone and central Idaho has gone from zero to over four hundred animals. Currently there are thirteen wolf packs in Yellowstone. "1
Hank Fisher

A Learn Liberty video about an innovative wolf conservation program, explained by Laura Huggins of the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC).  PERC explores the role free markets and property rights can play in protecting the environment and conserving endangered species by thinking in terms of establishing the correct economic incentives for conservation.  This is interesting to me as typical solutions in this area consist of stronger state controls and regulations, with markets seen as being things that are hostile to conservation.  We live in a time where we're in danger of witnessing the extinction of many species and surely all options need to be on the table when considering the best action to take to prevent this.  Even if you find it distasteful that animals should have to justify themselves by producing profit for someone, high moral ground isn't going to feel very good when they're all extinct.

You can learn more about the work of PERC here -


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