Policy Impact

The conservation ideas researched at PERC are important in informing environmental policy. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit we do not engage in lobbying, but we do get our ideas off the shelves by providing testimony before Congress, submitting public comments, sharing research briefs with policymakers, and hosting events to share policy ideas.

Policy Advancements
© BLM Idaho
Wild Horses

The Bureau of Land Management implemented a new incentive program, based on PERC’s research, that will reduce the massive overpopulation crisis, protect public lands against overgrazing, and save taxpayers nearly $50,000 over the lifetime of each horse. Read more here.

National Park Fees

With $12 billion in deferred maintenance projects and a funding squeeze exacerbated by the creation of new parks, there has been a clamour for tax increases to fund the national parks maintenance backlog. Aligned with PERC research, the Department of Interior adopted a market-based user-fee solution that doesn’t plunder taxpayers wallets and keeps 80% of funds within the park where the fee was collected. Read more here.

Endangered Species Act Improvements

In March of 2018, PERC proposed a reform that would incentivize recovery efforts for endangered species by easing regulation as the population improves. Last fall, the Department of Interior proposed a draft rule change, which we encouraged and commented on, aligned with our approach. These rule changes were finalized in August 2019. Read more here.

Read PERC Policy Reports Here


Conserving Wildlife While Reducing Disease Risk: Research fellow Catherine Semcer testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on ways to conserve wildlife and prevent disease transmission.

The Role of Hunting in Conserving African Wildlife: Research fellow Catherine Semcer testified before the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife on how trophy hunting provides the incentives and revenues necessary to make wildlife conservation efforts more resilient in the fact of change on July 18, 2019.

Bringing the LWCF Into the 21st Century: Executive director Brian Yablonski testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on ways to improve the Land and Water Conservation Fund on June 25, 2019.

Grizzly Bear Recovery and Management: Research fellow Jonathan Wood testified before the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee on the importance of state management of recovered grizzly bears and how continued federal oversight of recovered wildlife reduces conservation under the Endangered Species Act on May 15, 2019.

Improving the Endangered Species Act: Research fellow Jonathan Wood testified before the House Committee on Natural Resources on a collection of bills that seek to reform the Endangered Species Act on September 26, 2018.

More Testimony Here

Public Comments and Amicus Briefs
© Scott Threlkeld / The Times-Picayune.


Public Comment on Forest RestorationPERC submitted a public comment to the U.S. Department of Agriculture on how to improve forest restoration.

Public Comment on Defining “Habitat:” PERC submitted a public comment to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on how clarifying the definition of “habitat” can help make imperiled species and their habitat less of a liability.

Public Comment on Custer Gallatin National Forest Recreation Fee Proposal: PERC weighs in on the U.S. Forest Service’s efforts to improve public land management through user fees.

Statement for the Record on Conserving Wildlife Migration CorridorsResearch fellow Catherine Semcer submitted a statement for the record to the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources – Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife emphasizing the important role that private landowners play in providing critical habitat for migratory species.

Amicus Brief on Property Rights and Pollution: PERC and the Pacific Legal Foundation filed a court brief before the U.S. Supreme Court on Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian siding with landowners that their property rights should be upheld against pollution from a copper smelter.

Amicus Brief on Grizzly Bear Conservation: PERC and the Pacific Legal Foundation filed a court brief before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit arguing that the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear population is recovered and should be delisted from the Endangered Species Act.

Public Comment on Proposals to Improve the Endangered Species Act: PERC submitted a public comment supporting efforts by the Department of the Interior to “improve and modernize” the Endangered Species Act.

More Public Comments Here


Challenges and Solutions to Improve Federal Lands Management
November 14, 2018 – In partnership with the Heritage Foundation

PERC hosted a panel discussion with federal lands managers and experts on where federal lands management is going and creative policy ideas for the future.