Stossel covers PLF’s victory over ESA prairie dog regs
Sacramento, CA; November 17, 2014: This week’s installment of “Stossel with John Stossel” on Fox Business Network will highlight Pacific Legal Foundation’s landmark court victory for the people of Cedar City, in Southwest Utah, who have been banned by federal Endangered Species Act regulations from trying to deal with the out-of-control prairie dog population.
Recently, in a historic decision that recognizes clear constitutional limits on Endangered Species Act regulations, U.S. District Court Judge Dee Benson sided with PLF’s lawsuit and held that the federal government may not prevent property owners from trying to control the Utah prairie dog population on their own land. This is because the Utah prairie dog does not affect interstate commerce, so it does not fall within federal regulatory jurisdiction under the Commerce Clause.
Cedar City has been overrun by Utah prairie dogs, a species that numbers over 40,000 but is still listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. PLF represents property owners who have come together as People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners (PETPO). They have sued because ESA regulations for the prairie dog block them from making normal use of their property, maintaining their gardens, parks, and city cemetery, and even protecting the airport’s runways from rodent-caused potholes.
The Stossel episode will feature PLF Staff Attorney Jonathan Wood, along with Cedar City small businessman Bruce Hughes, one of PLF’s clients in the case. Hughes has been unable to develop a small parcel he bought as a retirement investment, because prairie dogs moved onto the land, so federal regulations blocked any use of it.
About Pacific Legal Foundation
Donor-supported Pacific Legal Foundation is the leading legal watchdog organization that litigates for limited government, property rights, and a balanced approach to environmental regulations, in courts across the country. PLF represents all clients free of charge.
Case CommentarySee all posts
For decades, a federal agency had forbidden people in southwestern Utah from doing things that most of us take for granted in our own communities, like building homes, starting businesses, … ›Read more
We filed our final brief urging the Supreme Court to hear People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners’ challenge to an unconstitutional federal regulation that imposes significant harms on Utah property owners and blocks the state’s efforts to recover a rare species of rodent.Read more
Our Constitution limits the federal government’s powers to those expressly listed in the document But the government we have today is a far cry from the limited government described by our Founding Fathers
PLF is asking the Supreme Court to restore the Constitution’s limits by rejecting an extreme, limitless interpretation of the Commerce Clause Representing People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners, we are challenging federal overreach under the Endangered Species Act
For decades, a federal regulation kept the people of southwestern Utah from doing things that the rest of us take for granted in our own communities They were blocked from building homes, starting small businesses, even protecting playgrounds, anRead more