Overview

The U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), which protects endangered and threatened species and their habitats, can delay or prevent real estate development that might harm a protected species or its habitat.

Political Advocacy

Current Legislation/Regulation

None at this time.


In-Depth

Letters to Congress
Issue summary
Issue summary
NAR Federal Issues Tracker


Legislative Contact(s):

Russell Riggs
rriggs@nar.realtor
202-383-1259

Ryan Rusbuldt
rrusbuldt@nar.realtor
202-383-1196

Regulatory Contact(s):

Russell Riggs
rriggs@nar.realtor
202-383-1259

What is the fundamental issue?

The U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA), which protects endangered and threatened species and their habitats, can delay or prevent real estate development that might harm a protected species or its habitat.

I am a real estate professional. What does this mean for my business?

The ESA adds regulatory costs and burdens to property and economic development. It may also be a violation of the 5th Amendment by limiting (taking) the use of property through regulation without compensating the property owner.

NAR Policy:

NAR supports reform to the Endangered Species Act that:

  • Recognizes economic impacts to the community when designating and recovering endangered species and habitat;
  • Provides market-based incentives to encourage species protection; and
  • Compensates private property owners when they have been deprived of the economic value of their property.
  • Reduces regulations and streamlines the permitting process.

Legislative/Regulatory Status/Outlook

While not anticipating a comprehensive ESA reform legislative effort in 2019, NAR continues to pursue opportunities as they arise.  

Legislation may be introduced that could help assess the economic cost of listing a species, provide additional transparency and accountability during the listing process and help reduce costs and streamline the listing process.

NAR supports reforms to the ESA that take into account the economic impacts of designating and recovering endangered and threatened species. NAR also supports safeguards that protect private property rights, incentives for species protection and the use of sound science in listing decisions.

In the meantime, NAR has commented on an unprecedented increase in listed species under the ESA as well as the proposed review of hundreds of species in a shortened timeframe, pursuant to a court settlement.  NAR urges greater transparency and outreach by the Administration in its consideration of this staggering number of potential listings.

NAR has supported the Trump administration's recent regulatory changes and efforts to incorporate economic cost benefit analysis into habitat and listing decisions.

NAR Committee:

Land Use, Property Rights and Environment Committee

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Copyright

Real estate professionals must be cognizant of copyright issues when it comes to listing content, most notably in connection with listing photographs.

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