East African Standard March 6, 2007 Applying free market ideas to wildlife conservation By Joseph Magiri
Headwaters NewsJanuary 5, 2005 By Randy T. Simmons
Lea-Rachel Kosnik, Roger Meiners
"Restoring Harmony in the Klamath Basin" explains how this conflict developed and offers a solution—markets in water. Written by Roger Meiners and Lea-Rachel Kosnik, this paper persuasively argues that clarification of property rights to water is fundamental to ending the crisis.
A new series of books for young people offers objective and balanced discussions of controversial issues.
February 2001A Former Fisherman Tackles Restoration and Bureaucracy
Overfishing in the oceans is a classic example of the "tragedy of the commons"-- overexploitation of an unowned resource. Fishing in U.S. waters is no longer a commons free of fishing restrictions, yet many fisheries still suffer from the tragedy of the commons.
Michael `t Sas-Rolfes
The tiger, which once ranged throughout Asia, faces extinction in the wild. The only way to save it is to provide incentives that make people who live near tigers want to conserve them, says Michael 't Sas-Rolfes in a new paper, "Who Will Save the Wild Tiger?" published by PERC.
Linda Platts, Holly Fretwell
Wall Street JournalJanuary 28, 1997 By Holly Lippke Fretwell and Linda Platts
Christian Science MonitorMarch 20, 1996 By Urs P. Kreuter and Linda E. Platts
Rocky Mountain NewsDecember 20, 1995 By Terry L. Anderson and Michael R. Houser
Wall Street JournalSeptember 7, 1995 By Pamela S. Snyder and Jane S. Shaw
Peter Hill, Terry Anderson
Terry L. Anderson and Peter J. Hill, Editors
By Linda Platts
Great Falls Tribune October 16, 2008
On ABC's "20/20" with John Stossel, Terry Anderson sugests eating tigers could be the best way to save them.
To protect the bison in Yellowstoe from slaughter when they leave the park seeking winter forage, some private environmental group with an entrepreneurial plan should reward landovers who providing grazing room.
Kenya might make 20 times more money from the Masai Mara Game Reserve, which is just a sixth of Tanzania's Serengeti, but this, reports Special Correspondent WYCLIFFE MUGA, comes at a huge environmental cost .
Given property rights to the wild animals that often damage their crops or even kill them, Namibian farmers now are profiting from tourism and hunting, while poaching has virtually disappeared.
The impact of bee colony collapse on American agriculture
Rancher and enviropreneur Jeff Lazslo forged partnerships with public and private funders to restore a huge wetland that now flourishes with fish, wildlife, and plants.
How well does enforcement of the Endangered Species Act preserve wildlife habitat? On the John Batchelor show, Terry Anderson talks about how the ESA has affected spotted owls, bald eagles, silver grayling, and wolves.
While the Endangered Species Act has led to habitat destruction, private solutions give us reason to be hopeful. In South Africa's Wildlife Ranching magazine, Terry Anderson explains how Texan ranchers brought the scimitar-horned oryx back from the brink of extinction.
Michael `t Sas-Rolfes
In South Africa's Wildlife Ranching magazine, Michael `t Sas-Rolfes explores the history of wildlife breeding as a species conservation tool, challenging traditional views of conservation in the Anthropocene era.
In the Wall Street Journal, Terry Anderson examines how landowners have managed wildlife habitat under the ESA and suggests heavy-handed enforcement has discouraged private conservation efforts.
When environmental groups buy ranchers' permits, there's no need for the feds to start rustling up trouble.
Reed Watson, Peter Hill, Shawn Regan, Laura Huggins
Listen as Aaron Flint of "Voices of Montana" talks with Reed Watson, P.J. Hill, Shawn Regan, and Laura Huggins about free market environmentalism.
Todd Graham, Jeremy Gingerich
The Park Service wants another large buffalo herd in the Great Plains, which would advance the Department of the Interior’s Bison Conservation Initiative. In what may be a huge opportunity for the Oglala Sioux, a Tribal National Park is emerging in South Dakota—the first of its kind.
In an interview on the John Batchelor Show, Terry Anderson explains how hunting in Namibia provides local communities with the right incentives to manage and conserve wildlife.
PERC Julian Simon Fellow David Schmidtz focuses on conflict resolution at the intersection of economics and ecology. In this video, he explores "alien priorities."
Michael `t Sas-Rolfes
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is about to destroy 6 tons of confiscated ivory. But does the destruction of ivory stockpiles really help the cause?
The Endangered Species Act is expensive and ineffective in its reactive approach to conservation. Laura Huggins explores an alternative system of incentives for environmental stewardship prior to regulatory listing.
It’s a conservation debate that’s as fiery as it gets: Will a legal rhino horn trade save rhinos? Michael 't Sas-Rolfes believes a well-regulated trade is the right answer, and here's why.
Wildlife is a publicly owned resource, yet the majority of wildlife habitat is privately owned. This article from the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum examines the nature of the split wildlife estate and the potential to unify it with public-private partnerships.
Laura Huggins, Todd Gartner
Read the PERC op-ed: Endangered Species Act: On 40th Anniversary, Time to Rethink How We Protect Wildlife
PERC fellows offer "candidate species conservation banking" as a promising development of voluntary exchange through a market-like approach in their San Jose Mercury News op-ed.
Spots versus stripes? Which do you prefer? Our federal government prefers spots and is moving forward with a million-dollar-a-year plan to remove 9,000 striped owls from western forests.
For the first time since the 1800s, wolves are roaming Germany. As packs wander into the suburbs of Berlin, farmers and conservationists are divided. How should modern societies deal with the resurgence of dangerous, but protected, species?
This morning the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C.
On the John Batchelor Show, Reed Watson discusses the policies that govern public elk on private land in both Montana and Colorado. His talk focuses on how those policies can affect rancher reactions to elk on their property.
On the John Batchelor Show, Terry Anderson discusses how trade bans hurt the very species the regulations try to protect. He continues to describe how a property rights approach, along with liberalizing trade, could improve outcomes for these species.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to list the African lion as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. But will it actually help the king of beasts?
Terry Anderson, interviewed by John Batchelor, considers the gray wolves in Yellowstone and the apparent paradox that hunting creates a healthy population of wild species.
By Andrew C. Revkin5:02 p.m. | Updated below |
Emily Wood, Annie Beckhelling
By the employment of dogs, farmers and conservationists are reducing both livestock lost to predation and cheetahs lost to predator control.
Michael `t Sas-Rolfes
In 1900, the southern white rhinoceros was the most endangered of the five rhinoceros species. Less than 20 rhinos remained in a single reserve in South Africa. By 2010, white rhino numbers had climbed to more than 20,000, making it the most common rhino species on the planet.
Wally Thurman talks bees with John Batchelor. He discusses colony collapse disorder and the state of the bee industry.
Maasai are incresaing their incomes by using a portion of their grazing land for wildlife viewing by tourists.
Hoping to defuse a three-decade feud over whale hunting, three academics are making an audacious proposal: The world should put a price on killing whales and allow conservationists and whalers alike to bid on the right to take them.
Protecting the Aberdares ecosystem required keeping the local people from poaching the wildlife, grazing it with livestock, and cutting the indigenous trees for firewood.
Last year's massive winter bison migration from Yellowstone National Park caused significant damage to
Last Thursday, at a congressional hearing, Assistant U.S.
For an interesting example of how property rights can turn environmental liabilities into profitable assets, check out To Save Wildlife, Namibia's Farmers Ta
Michael `t Sas-Rolfes
African white rhinos have been saved from extinctionby private owners who used property rights and market incentives to restore the South African population of 20 in 1900 to more than 20,000 today.
Protecting endangered species is hard when you view nature as static. James L. Huffman in the Wall Street Journal:
Jeff Laszlo knew that to keep the family ranch, he needed to chnage his operations. By recognizing the environmental assets on his ranch and forging partnerships with public and private funders he restored a huge wetland that now flourishes with fish, wilflife and plants. By investing in conservation, he has saved his ranch and increased his income.
Editor's Note: Summers are an exciting time at PERC as we welcome dozens of visiting scholars to our summer fellowships programs. Throughout the summer, The PERColator will be bringing you a new Q&A series with many of our outstanding visiting fellows. Michael 't Sas-RolfesMichael ‘t Sas-Rolfes is an environmental economist with a focus on the role of markets for biodiversity conservation. He has been actively involved in various private conservation initiatives for 25 years, starting as a financial manager of a private game reserve in South Africa and later conducting research on the role of private markets for wildlife conservation in Africa.Michael worked with Francis Vorhies to set up Eco Plus, an innovative consultancy on business, economics, and the environment. His consulting experience includes work on trans-frontier conservation areas, wildlife trade policy, and institutional reform in protected area management. He has written extensively on various conservation issues, especially relating to trade in endangered species.Michael is a 2011 PERC Lone Mountain Fellow researching international wildlife trade policy. Thanks to Michael for taking time to answer our questions.Q: In 1998, you authored a PERC Policy Series called “Who Will Save the Wild Tiger?” What has changed in the world of tigers since you wrote the paper?A: A lot has been done. There have been many conservation initiatives, much money spent, and many, many meetings. A wide range of conservation NGOs and even the World Bank established initiatives, culminating in last year’s grand “Tiger Summit” in St. Petersburg in Russia. Unfortunately, however, wild tiger numbers have continued to decline. When I wrote the PERC Policy Series paper, the most recent estimate of wild tiger numbers was between 4,800 and 7,300. Last year the official World Wildlife Fund estimate was 3,200. So in another sense, not much has changed at all – the wild tiger remains in trouble.Interestingly, during this time the Chinese government also announced plans to investigate the feasibility of using farmed tigers to provide a legal supply of tiger bone medicines to their domestic market, citing my PERC Policy Series as a partial justification for this. Conservation NGOs (and the World Bank) reacted in a very hostile way to these proposals and the Chinese have not pursued them any further.Q: In your paper you wrote, “Tiger conservation is, ultimately, an issue of incentives.” What are the incentives and who faces them?A: Conservation NGOs benefit from the tiger’s charismatic high profile as a means to raise funds, and conservation scientists like to study tigers, so one could argue that they have an incentive to prevent them from becoming extinct. By contrast, rural people living near tigers have to deal with threats to their livestock and children, and human-tiger conflict is a serious problem over most of the wild tiger’s range. Rural people have less of an incentive to conserve tigers, especially when offered large sums of money for tiger carcasses.I believe that the main challenge for tiger conservation is that people living next to wild tigers are the ones who actually control their destiny, and right now those people typically don’t benefit much from the presence of wild tigers. The people who do benefit are mostly far away and don’t have much real control over what happens to tigers. There is a mismatch between who pays the costs and who gets to benefit from tiger conservation.Q: How can tigers become assets instead of liabilities?A: For something to be an asset, it has to be owned by someone. Right now most wild tigers are typically ‘owned’ by governments, but that is a weak and dispersed form of ownership, which does not benefit or incentivize specific people who control the wild tiger’s destiny. Those people are typically rural subsistence farmers and poorly paid government employees. By creating stronger property rights – i.e. more direct ownership of tigers – one could create ways for more specific groups, communities or agencies to control and benefit directly from tigers. Ways to benefit could include genuine “adopt-a-tiger” schemes, contractual agreements with local people, tourist viewing, and possibly trophy hunting (although this is currently banned). This would give tigers much greater asset value.Q: Should conservationists look toward tiger farming as a viable solution to the decline in wild tiger populations? A: Tiger farming is one of a range of options to consider. It has the potential to satisfy some of the persisting demand for products such as tiger bone, thereby competing with the black market, which currently provides the only channel of supply. It is not a panacea, but it is also not the threat that some conservation groups claim it to be. The Chinese captive tiger population already exceeds the world’s wild tiger population, and conservation groups worry that some products are ‘leaking’ illegally into the marketplace. However, if market demand for these products persists, it would be a bad idea to try to stop this leakage, because it will simply drive up the value of poached tiger products and stimulate poaching even further.Q: You have also done similar work on protecting wild rhino populations in Africa. You recently launched a website called Rhino Economics. What is the purpose of the website?A: Rhino Economics provides an information source to a wide audience on all of the economic issues relating to rhino conservation, especially the rhino horn trade. The public tends to be poorly informed on this issue. Most people still think that rhino horn is used as an aphrodisiac and that the rhino horn trade ban is a good idea. My research over the past 22 years shows that the smartest way to protect rhinos is to create strong property rights and market incentives, and the example of the southern white rhino success story provides concrete proof. My research also suggests that the greatest threat to rhinos today is in fact the ban on rhino horn trade. The ban is causing an artificial supply shortage that is driving the price up to outrageous levels and thereby attracting highly-sophisticated organized crime syndicates into the trade.The website aims to provide information at three different levels: 1) a quick overview of the issues for the general public, 2) a more detailed explanation of the issues for those who are more interested or involved in rhino conservation and 3) a comprehensive listing of past academic and policy work I have done for students and practitioners of wildlife policy.
Michael `t Sas-Rolfes
Conservation of animals like rhinos and elephants may eventually be conducted most successfully by markets where these animals have monetary value rather than just emotional value. It may sound cold, but it could well keep them from becoming extinct
Terry Anderson, Shawn Regan
When people who live near wild elephants understand how they can benefit economically, they have an incentive to protect the wildlife.
In a new deal with environmentalists, the Obama administration has agreed to work through a backlog list of species that require additional study to determine if they should be given protection under the Endangered Species Act.
In Namibia the people own the wildlife. Their system of community-based conservation has providedincome to local people and sharply increased key wildlife populations.
by Holly Fretwell
In the fall edition of PERC Reports out this week, James Salzman, professor of law and environmental policy at Duke University, provides an overview of ecosys
In 1962, Congressman Wayne Aspinall wrote to President Kennedy asking him to establish a commission to review public land laws.
Most environmental issues involve resource conflicts. One person wants to use a river to carry away her waste products, while another one wants to swim and fish in the same stream. Often these uses conflict and collide.
This special issue of PERC Reports is dedicated to PERC’s Lone Mountain Fellows. In our cover story, Michael 't Sas-Rolfes explores the war on wildlife trade and offers insights from his recent research at PERC.
You've heard of Freakonomics — but what about Bisonomics? With their future now in the hands of eco-ranchers and market-minded preserves, the outlook for bison is promising, says Brian Yablonski.
It isn't easy being green...unless it means more green for the pocketbook
China and India are moving in opposite directions in their efforts to keep the wild tiger from disappearing.
By Andrew Morriss The first chapter of the Cayman Turtle Farm story did not end happily. But a new phase in this fabled effort to protect wild sea turtles has begun.
Wisconsin leads the way in deconstructing dams that obstruct its many rivers.
The director of the Inter Region Economic Network (IREN) in Nairobi discusses the problems with government control of wildlife in Kenya
Michael `t Sas-Rolfes
Is the prohibitionist approach really helping?
Why some ranchers see wildlife as a nuisance while others see it as an asset
Peter Hill, Shawn Regan
Entrepreneurs are capitalizing on ecotourism and environmental amenities to transform an agricultural economy into a nature-based economy.
Most conflicts solved with market-based solutions involve opposing sides exercising their property interest, whether factual or imagined.
Headlights trace the dying canopy of a stand of Pohutukawa trees. The decades-old, fourwheel- drive Range Rover slows, and a father and son disembark with their shotguns.
There is a crossroads in Texas. Down along the Mexican border, in a four-county area, sits the Lower Rio Grande Valley—a merger of tropics and subtropics.
That there are moose in Yellowstone today tells us something about nature and our role in it.
Once an icon of the American west, bison are now hazed through costly government-driven efforts and killed in droves around Yellowstone National Park during the winter.
Just as the market brought the bison to near extinction, so too has it brought them back from the brink.
In the early days of the ivory trade ban in the 1980s, TIME magazine showed a picture of Kenyan government officials burning tons of ivory to demonstrate their commitment to the ban as a way of stopping elephant poaching.
When the battles over water in Oregon’s Klamath River Basin were at their peak, PERC organized a meeting in Portland to bring competing parties to the table in search of common ground for reducing the conflict.
Typically in the past, rural and suburban landowners had no trouble taking care of their seasonal accumulations of brush, branches, dead leaves, and other organic debris. They piled it in the backyard and set it alight.
The South Texas Wildlife Shootout is helping preserve wildlife habitat on private land and educating the public about the unique wildlife in the region.
In Tanzania, the Nile crocodile is probably best known for its threat to human life. Not only does it snatch villagers from the river banks, but it has even made forays onto the lawns of tourist lodges in search of a tasty meal.
Slash-and-burn agriculture has long been a way of life for farmers living in forested areas of the Dominican Republic.
The world's largest fish has found a safe haven in the waters surrounding a tiny Caribbean island.
James G. Workman
Could the political conflict over wolf recovery efforts be resolved via economics? Let the bidding begin.