ICYMI: Capitol Hill event on the constitutional limits of the Endangered Species Act (ESA)

June 12, 2015 | By KATE POMEROY

On Tuesday, June 2, 2015, Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) and Competitive Enterprise Institute held a joint event on Capitol Hill to discuss the constitutional limits of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

With U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) providing opening remarks, it was a terrific panel discussion with a standing-room-only crowd. The panel included PLF Attorney Jonathan Wood, Senior Staff Attorney for Defenders of Wildlife Jason Rylander, Senior Advisor for Endangered Species, House Natural Resources Committee, Rob Gordon.

The panel discussion focused on PLF’s lawsuit on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners (PETPO) challenging Utah prairie dog regulations.  This is the landmark case in which a federal district judge recently ruled in favor of this challenge, holding that the federal government has no constitutional power to regulate private activities affecting the Utah prairie dog on non-federal property because the species does not have a substantial effect on interstate commerce.