Complementary Authority and the One-Way Ratchet: Ecosystem Services Property, Regulation, and Wildlife Conservation
21 Pages Posted: 29 May 2018 Last revised: 28 Jun 2018
Date Written: May 16, 2018
Due to the priorities of the Trump Administration, which are not a great match with those of the conservation community, we find ourselves in a period of rollbacks for all kinds of environmental regulation, including the protection of wildlife. When the federal government fails to adequately regulate, we look to other sources of authority to fill that gap. The first and most obvious place to look is to state and local governments. They are our best hope to avoid hemorrhaging vulnerable species during this presidency. Alas, looking at the realities of state wildlife conservation laws, we see the gaps remain. Where else are we to turn? Is there any potential source of private power that might be leveraged in favor of conservation? Building on the author’s recently published theory of ecosystem services property, this Essay considers the extent to which that potential property interest may operate in favor of wildlife conservation, even where that is not the goal of those exercising the right. While no substitute for government regulation, this approach to property rights may well assist in filling regulatory gaps.
Keywords: ecosystem services, Trump, wildlife, biodiversity, land use, property
JEL Classification: Q57
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation