Tomorrow the nation will observe its fifth annual "Endangered Species Day," thanks this year to S. Res. 503, which passed the Senate unanimously late last April. The resolution encourages all schools to spend at least 30 minutes teaching students about, among other things, "efforts to restore endangered species, including the essential role of private land, owners and private stewardship in the protection and recovery of species."
It's indisputable that effective protection of endangered species requires cooperation from private landowners. Hence, the Cooperative Conservation effort encouraged by the Bush Administration. But it would also be worthwhile for students to learn that too often landowners are forced to dedicate their property for species preservation, without any compensation from the government. If the true costs of species protection were known and fairly distributed among all taxpayers, I doubt that an Endangered Species Day resolution would receive the votes of all senators.