November 17, 2014

New video on PLF's victory in prairie dog case

By Jonathan Wood Attorney

People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners is a group of Utah property owners and local government that pushed back against unconstitutional federal regulations that barred them from building homes, starting businesses, and, in the case of the local government, protecting an airport and cemetery from a thriving rodent population. As reported two weeks ago, a federal judge agreed with them, issuing an unprecedented ruling enforcing the Constitution’s limits against the Endangered Species Act’s incredibly broad prohibitions. This video explains what this important decision means for both the Utahns that have long suffered under the Utah prairie dog regulations and the rest of us who care about constitutionally limited government.

learn more about

People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners v. Fish and Wildlife Service

For decades, the federal Endangered Species Act has simultaneously stifled responsible conservation of the Utah prairie dog, while barring property owners from using their own land as they wish. So PLF asked the United States Supreme Court to step in, to protect both the prairie dog and property rights of the people who share the same land. Representing a group of landowners called the People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners, PLF challenged the constitutionality of the federal prohibitions. Our initial victory in federal district court allowed the state to adopt a conservation program that benefitted both people and the prairie dog. It has relocated prairie dogs from backyards, playgrounds, and other residential areas to improved state conservation lands. However, that successful conservation program ground to a halt when the Tenth Circuit restored the federal regulation. Our petition asked to restore both the state conservation program and constitutional limits on federal power, which the Supreme Court denied.

Read more

What to read next