Volume 25, No.1, Spring 2007



Fifteen years ago, an academic publisher quietly released Free Market Environmentalism by Terry Anderson and Don Leal. At the time, few mainstream environmentalists or politicians saw the book. But since its publication, free-market environmentalism spurred a quiet revolution in environmental policy. Now its views and policy approaches are starting to be taken seriously in policy circles… No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, free-market environmentalism offers some interesting approaches to perennial problems.

 —Max Borders
Media Coordinator, Civitas Institute of North Carolina and
Adjunct Scholar, National Center for Policy Analysis

The Nature Conservancy In the early eighties, economists and others who favored free market ideas for managing environmental assets could hold an annual meeting in a mini-van—with room to spare for their fishing gear. At the time, most smart people felt FME was a rather quaint set of ideas that would go nowhere. Now, FME is a major ingredient in the clash of ideas that forms new policy. The world understands that incentives matter and that valuable natural resources need to be managed with owner-like concern.

—Bruce Yandle Dean Emeritus,
Clemson University

Terry and Don’s book was prophetic in promoting conservation strategies that are now in vogue. PERC’s emphasis on market-based approaches reflects trends in many non-profit organizations and public agencies to place an economic value on nature, using terms such as “ecosystem services” and “natural capital.” The conservation movement in this new century needs the market-based policy perspective that Terry and Don recognized long ago.

—Paul Bauman
Principal Gifts Team
The Nature Conservancy

Terry Anderson and Don Leal’s Free Market Environmentalism was and still is a landmark book for all of us that love the outdoors and believe in the principles of entrepreneurship in our country. FME has stood the test of time and continues to be a guiding light. Congratulations, guys … you ROCK!

—Chuck Leavel
Charlane Plantation and Evergreen Arts
Keyboardist, The Rolling Stones

Fifteen years ago Terry Anderson and Don Leal were taking ideas that were outside the pale of public discourse, and using scholarship and entrepreneurial endeavor to inject those ideas into important policy decisions, affecting not only the West but the nation. The wonderful thing to behold since the publication of Free Market Environmentalism is that these ideas are now a national force to be reckoned with, adding a unique and truly vital perspective on environmental policy.

 —William (Chip) H. Mellor
President and General Counsel
Institute for Justice

This book (Free Market Environmentalism) belongs on the bookshelf of every manager at the EPA.

—David W. Schnare, Esq. Ph.D.
Senior Fellow
The Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy

Having the thorough, thought-provoking research of PERC allows journalists to explore ideas that tell the bigger picture. It’s interesting that they often contradict what many “environmental” groups claim is “truth” that our forests are disappearing or that bald eagles are becoming extinct. PERC reminds the movers and shakers of the world that free market principles apply to our natural resources, too.

—John Stossel
ABC News 20/20

Related Content