The kangaroo rat strikes again

September 06, 2011 | By PACIFIC LEGAL FOUNDATION

Author: Damien M. Schiff

Redlands Daily Facts reports that, owing to a recent siting of the federally protected San Bernardino kangaroo rat, a 1.5-mile road expansion in San Bernardino may cost millions of dollars more than originally anticipated. The added costs are due to the habitat mitigation requirements that may attach to the road expansion because the rat’s listed status under Endangered Species Act. I reported earlier this year on a Center for Biological Diversity win in federal court in Southern California that resulted in the addition of thousands of acres of habitat to the rat’s “critical habitat” designation. Although it’s not clear whether the new project costs and CBD’s victory are directly related, the announcement nevertheless underscores that endangered species regulation does impose real costs that frequently threaten a project’s viability.