Strengthening property rights protects endangered fish

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Can strengthening private property rights help protect our streams, rivers and endangered species? Well if the Upper Colorado River Basin is any example, the answer is “yes.” According to Energy and Environment Publishing’s Land Letter, no less than four endangered fish have benefited from a recovery program that gives private citizens more water rights. Under the Reagan Administration, the Fish and Wildlife Service developed a program that allowed landowners the right to sell their water share if they wanted to leave it in-stream. This created a powerful incentive to leave as much water in the rivers as possible, which has not only helped protect the habitat of endangered fish, but also to generated new jobs in Colorado.

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About the Author: CFACT

CFACT defends the environment and human welfare through facts, news, and analysis.