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Brief to SCOTUS on Economic Impact of Conservation Designations

July 6, 2018

We recently filed, in a case before the Supreme Court, a brief on the role of ancillary and unquantified benefits in cost-benefit analysis for environmental policy. The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), in declaring critical habitat designation areas for the dusky gopher frog, decided to not exclude some private land from the designation after qualitatively assessing the direct and indirect costs and benefits of the designation.

While petitioners ask the court to review the FWS decision to not exclude area from the designation, our brief to the Supreme Court argues that Petitioners make the flawed assumption that neither ancillary benefits nor unquantified benefits deserve any weight when comparing the costs and benefits of critical habitat designations. Those attempts to belittle and ignore ancillary and unquantified benefits go against the Endangered Species Act and violate both guiding principles and longstanding agency practices for rational, balanced economic analysis.

Filed under Natural Resources, Court Filings, Transparency