This year, PERC celebrates its 40th anniversary—an impressive milestone. For four decades now, PERC has explored ways to apply property rights and markets to address environmental problems. As many will attest, there’s no place like it.
I started working at PERC ten years ago—first as a summer intern, then an outreach assistant, research fellow, publications director, and now as the vice president of research. Over the past decade, I’ve worked with such diverse groups as national environmental groups, free market policy groups, top scholars in economics and law, federal and local policymakers, national park superintendents, environmental entrepreneurs, Native American tribes, ecologists, philanthropists, journalists, and more. No other organization does that.
But that’s just a quarter of PERC’s existence. Long before that, a bold group of economists set the stage for me and others at PERC. They laid the intellectual foundation for what became known as free market environmentalism. They built a movement that has grown PERC from a voice in the Montana wilderness to a nationally recognized institute known for its high-quality research, policy chops, and commitment to conservation. It’s their ideas that we get to apply, adapt, and expand upon every day.
This issue of PERC Reports honors our 40th anniversary. It reflects on PERC’s ideas and the influence they’ve had on conservation, economics, policy, and environmentalism broadly. But as much as it celebrates the past, it looks toward the future—to new opportunities and challenges, and to creative ways to apply free market environmentalism in the 21st century.
So, whether you’re a friend, supporter, donor, fellow traveler, skeptic, or just an interested reader, thank you for your interest in what we do. I hope that you continue to support PERC and PERC Reports—the only magazine dedicated to exploring and advancing market approaches to environmental problems—so that the decades ahead can be even more productive than the past four.
Click here to read the full issue.