Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Saving Species with Conservation Reserve Programs

Class

Article

College

Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

Faculty Mentor

Randy Simmons

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is one of the most far reaching pieces of legislation ever enacted in regards to wildlife conservation. According to the Fish and Wildlife Service, “The purpose of the ESA is to protect and recover imperiled species and the ecosystems upon which they depend.” The act is widely supported across party lines. However, only about 1.5 percent of species listed have been recovered. Because the ESA disregards property rights of private citizens, it creates negative incentives that ultimately harm the same species it is intended to help. The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is part of the Farm Bill and is meant to restore marginal farmlands that are unproductive farming areas because of past use or poor soil quality. The CRP creates financial incentives for farmers to restore their land, resulting in a myriad of benefits for both the farmer and wildlife. In simple economic terms, the ESA makes endangered species a liability, while the Conservation Reserve Program makes them an asset. In this paper, we review the mounting evidence that the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is likely a more viable model for the conservation of species than the ESA and suggest targeted expansions to the CRP to incentivize the rehabilitation of endangered species.

Location

The South Atrium

Start Date

4-12-2018 3:00 PM

End Date

4-12-2018 4:15 PM

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Apr 12th, 3:00 PM Apr 12th, 4:15 PM

Saving Species with Conservation Reserve Programs

The South Atrium

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is one of the most far reaching pieces of legislation ever enacted in regards to wildlife conservation. According to the Fish and Wildlife Service, “The purpose of the ESA is to protect and recover imperiled species and the ecosystems upon which they depend.” The act is widely supported across party lines. However, only about 1.5 percent of species listed have been recovered. Because the ESA disregards property rights of private citizens, it creates negative incentives that ultimately harm the same species it is intended to help. The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is part of the Farm Bill and is meant to restore marginal farmlands that are unproductive farming areas because of past use or poor soil quality. The CRP creates financial incentives for farmers to restore their land, resulting in a myriad of benefits for both the farmer and wildlife. In simple economic terms, the ESA makes endangered species a liability, while the Conservation Reserve Program makes them an asset. In this paper, we review the mounting evidence that the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is likely a more viable model for the conservation of species than the ESA and suggest targeted expansions to the CRP to incentivize the rehabilitation of endangered species.