Texan in court over ESA

Oral arguments are expected later this year in a Texas property owners’ legal battle with U.S. Fish and Wildlife over a tiny spider-like bug on the endangered species list.

Military veteran John Yearwood lives and works on the same Williamson County land his ancestors plotted over a century ago. Now the feds say he can no longer allow church youth groups and 4-H Clubs to camp there because of the tiny Bone Cave harvestman.

“The federal government is only supposed to regulate things that enumerated powers under the United States constitution,” says Chance Weldon, attorney with the Center for the American Future zt the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

“Here, they’re trying to regulate what’s basically ordinary land use. What you can do on your own private property that effects no one.

Texas Public Policy Foundation is representing Yearwood in court.

“If you step on one of these alleged endangered species, or you do something that alters cave humidity or anything like that, it can be up to a $50,000 fine and prison time,” says Weldon.

Yearwood is not alone. Property owners across the U.S. are forced to spend thousands of dollars in permit fees or simply abandon some parts due to the Endangered Species Act.

“People think of the Endangered Species Act and they think of polar bears,” says Weldon. “They don’t think of bugs and salamanders, or different species of cave bug and beetles and things like that. But literally thousands of species that are listed are these sorts of species.”

Read the original article by Nik Rajkovic at kprcradio.iheart.com here.

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