Waterfall Environmental Science, Eighth Edition
Student Resources

Chapter 11: Preserving Biological Diversity

Preserving Wildlife, Usurping Private Property Rights?
In the Point/Counterpoint on page 208-209 in Chapter 11, a professor of economics and the director of the Environmental Policy Project debate whether private landowners should be reimbursed by the government for restrictions on land use. In the text, I asked you to summarize their views and consider which view most closely relates to your view on the subject. To explore the issue further, we invite you to check out the Web sites listed below. As you examine each site, be certain to identify who is providing the information and any hidden agendas they might have. The questions posed below will help you evaluate the Web sites and clarify your own opinion. Spend a few minutes reviewing them before you start reading the information posted at these sites. Furthering the Exploration: To help you evaluate the Web sites and clarify your own opinion, write down your answers to the following questions. Taking an active part in this exercise will help you prepare for discussions in and out of your class.

1. What new facts, ideas, and viewpoints, if any, did these Web sites provide for you? How did they further your understanding of this issue? Be specific.

2. Did your examination and analysis of the material affect your support of one of the two viewpoints presented in the text? If so, explain how and why.

3. After reading the material, can you think of an alternative position other than those taken by the authors? Explain it.

4. Do you think that the information provided by all organizations and individuals at the Web sites you visited was reliable and unbiased? How much of the information was scientific? How much was each viewpoint based on ethics?
Political Economy Research Center
The essayist for the Point side, Richard Stroup, is a Senior Associate at the Political Economy Research Center.
Community Rights Counsel
"Community Rights Counsel (CRC) is a not-for-profit, public interest law firm based in Washington DC that was formed in 1997 to assist communities in protecting their health and welfare by regulating permissible land uses. CRC provides strategic assistance to state and local government attorneys in defending land use laws." An explanation of the takings laws from the Point side is found in the Taking Litigations Handbook, which you can read chapter by chapter by scrolling down this page and clicking the appropriate links.
Georgetown Environmental Law and Policy Institute
The essayist for the Counterpoint side, John Echevarria, is now the executive director of the Georgetown Environmental Law and Policy Institute.
Montana State Legal Foundation
MSFL is a nonprofit legal organization defending the rights of property owners across the country. Click on Legal Cases, Articles and Speeches, and Summary Judgment for examples of takings cases involving access to federal land, environmental laws, and private property rights.
Coalition for Property Rights
The Coalition for Property Rights was formed in 2001 by a group of Central Florida business leaders to unify property owners and bring greater public awareness to the importance of property rights." This link will take you to the CPR's "News and Views" page.

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