PERC participates in and hosts a variety of webinars that explore how market tools offer solutions to our environmental challenges. This medium allows us to expand our reach to new audiences in an accessible way.

PERC webinars provide the educational opportunity to share our research, gain new insights, and broaden the network of people seeking sustainable, cooperative solutions to the challenges we face.

Biodiversity conservation, zoonotic diseases, and human security in Africa two years into Covid-19


Far more extensive and robust conservation of natural habitats, smarter and more diligent monitoring of legal wildlife trade, and suppression of poaching and wildlife trafficking are necessary for preventing and minimizing the emergence and spread of zoonotic diseases. Yet the Covid-19 pandemic has also revealed how vulnerable conservation and income for local communities and protected areas are to downturns in tourism.

This webinar was hosted by the Brookings Institution’s Africa Security Initiative and Initiative on Nonstate Armed Actors and featured PERC research fellow Catherine Semcer. The panel discussion explores how the Covid-19 pandemic impacted tourism and subsequently wildlife conservation on the African continent, as well as the importance of conserving wildlife habitat in order to help prevent zoonotic disease spillover.

Fix America’s Forests: Ideas on How to Tackle the Wildfire Crisis

Summer is just beginning, but wildfires are already raging in the West. Large and destructive wildfires are becoming more common, with new records set almost every year. Although several factors contribute to this trend, a significant one is the declining health of our nation’s forests. The U.S. Forest Service, which manages 193 million acres of land, reports a backlog of 80 million acres in need of restoration and 63 million acres facing high or very high risk of uncharacteristic wildfire.

While improving forest health and mitigating wildfire risk will require long-term policy changes, forest restoration projects offer a way to address these issues in the short term.

This webinar, hosted by PERC, featured Deputy Chief Chris French of the U.S. Forest System along with experts from Blue Forest Conservation and Pacific Legal Foundation. The panel explored how promoting landscapes with healthy forests and diverse forest types, restoration projects can reduce the risk of megafires and provide other conservation benefits.

President Biden’s 30×30 Plan

President Biden has issued an executive order to conserve 30% of all U.S. lands and waters by 2030. Some have called this Biden’s conservation moonshot that, if successful, could yield positive investments for generations to come for protecting biodiversity and wildlife populations. With approximately 70% of U.S. lands under private ownership, ​collaborative engagement with ranchers, farmers, foresters, industry, and other landowners is pivotal for the overall success of this ambitious effort.

This webinar, hosted by ConservAmerica, features PERC CEO Brian Yablonski, The Nature Conservancy’s chief external affairs officer Lynn Scarlett, and National Wildlife Federation president Collin O’Mara. The panel explores the role private lands can play in achieving ’30×30′ and what approach the government should take in engaging private landowners.

A Cleaner Future for Energy on Federal Lands


In this webinar hosted by The Center for Growth and Opportunity, PERC research fellow Tate Watkins explains how the Biden administration’s move to ban oil and gas leasing on federal land and waters will reduce funding for conservation and recreation programs.

One of the first things President Biden did when he assumed office was issue an executive order placing a moratorium on the sale of any new leases for oil and gas on federal land—at least until the Department of the Interior completes a review of climate impacts. What does that mean and how will it affect our national parks and lands?

A First Look at Biden’s Energy and Climate Policies


In this webinar hosted by The Heritage Foundation, PERC vice president of research Shawn Regan joins the panel to explore the Biden administration’s energy policies and what they mean for conservation on our public lands.

The new administration has visions of fully decarbonizing the power sector by 2035 and making a massive, government-led push to move America’s transportation system to electric power. These goals are lofty, but what does this agenda mean for everyday Americans? How will new policies affect states where the federal government owns much of the land? And what will these decisions mean for energy prices, the economy, and our environment?

Preventing the Next Pandemic: A Conversation About Disease, Wildlife Trade, and Ecosystem Health


In this webinar co-hosted with the Brookings Institution and EcoHealth Alliance, we explore how prioritizing ecosystem health and smart wildlife trade can help prevent the next global pandemic. We hear from experts Dr. Vanda-Felbab Brown of Brookings, Dr. Jonathan Epstein of EcoHealth Alliance, and Catherine Semcer of PERC.

The threat of deadly diseases spilling over from wildlife to people is real. Reducing the risk of future pandemics requires conserving healthy ecosystems and taking a smart approach to wildlife trade. Our panelists discuss lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic, the social and economic drivers that increase the risk of viral spillover, and what can be done to contain deadly diseases at their source.

Virtual Policy Briefing: Critical Habitat Designations & Proposed ESA Reforms


In this virtual policy briefing, experts from the Pacific Legal Foundation and the Center for Growth and Opportunity explain the impact of the proposed critical habitat reforms and share their insights on where the rules will succeed or need improvement.

Conserving Migration Corridors on Private Lands


Tucked away within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Montana’s Paradise Valley is home to a variety of wildlife including elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep, and pronghorn antelope. The ranching community of Paradise Valley not only lives amongst this wildlife but with them as many of these ungulates find habitat on their property. This habitat is a critical component of the migration pathways of wildlife in the GYE, but it comes at a cost to landowners.

In this webinar, we hear from a panel of experts as they discuss the complex and sometimes conflict-prone relationship between private landowners and elk in Montana’s Paradise Valley. The panel dives into the findings of a recently released PERC report, Elk in Paradise: Conserving Migratory Wildlife and Working Lands in Montana’s Paradise Valley, and explores what landowners need to remain good stewards of this important migration corridor and critical winter range for the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd. Panelists include Paradise Valley ranchers Druska Kinkie and Malou Anderson-Ramirez along with wildlife ecologist Arthur Middleton and PERC impact fellow Whitney Tilt.

Covid-19 & the Vulnerability of African Wildlife Conservation


The Covid-19 pandemic has had widespread impacts on wildlife tourism and conservation across Africa, revealing vulnerabilities in the continent’s conservation funding models. As conservationists, we see this as an opportunity to build more resilient systems throughout Africa and around the world. In this panel discussion hosted by PERC and featuring PERC research fellow Catherine Semcer, President of Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe Dr. Emmanuel Anesu, Chair of the Operators and Professional Hunters Association of Africa Danene van der Westhuyzen, and Founding Member and CEO of African Wildlife Services Louis B. Ebersohn, we explore the realities facing the conservation community in light of the global pandemic, and what can be done to diversify conservation funding streams to ensure greater resiliency going forward. You can find more information on the intersection of Covid-19 and conservation here, and what measures can be taken to ensure resiliency here.

The Great American Outdoors Act

Conservation is about preserving and maintaining what you already own. Yet today our national parks face an $11.6 billion backlog in deferred maintenance, an amount that is four times larger than the National Park Service’s latest budget. The deferred maintenance backlog is a big problem in need of creative solutions. Previous efforts to reduce the backlog have been inconsistent and have made only modest progress. The Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) would make meaningful progress toward addressing deferred maintenance needs in national parks. This webinar hosted by ConservAmerica and featuring Senators Joe Manchin and Cory Gardner, as well as PERC’s CEO Brian Yablonski, explores the GAOA what it means for the future of our public lands.

Capitalism and Climate Change


Capitalism and environmentalism are often portrayed as mutually exclusive. If we want to protect nature and fight climate change, governments have to control the economy, spend trillions, and punish polluters. Right? Perhaps instead, the market economy, innovation, and entrepreneurship—coupled with a healthy dose of eco-optimism—are the best way forward. This webinar, hosted by the British Conservation Alliance (BCA) and featuring Matt Ridley, Daniel Hannan, Kai Wess of the Austrian Economics Center, Christopher Bernard of BCA, and PERC’s Holly Fretwell explores how market-based solutions can help us meet the challenges posed by climate change.

What is Free Market Environmentalism?


Government is often thought of as the sole arbitrator of any and all environmental issues. However, the market offers innovative answers to our environmental challenges and invokes collaborative solutions. Free market environmentalism allows for cooperative allocation methods that provide positive incentives for good stewardship. This webinar, hosted by the British Conservation Alliance and featuring Matthew Lesh of the Adam Smith Institute, Benji Baker of the American Conservation Coalition, and PERC’s Hannah Downey, explains the fundamentals of free market environmentalism and what it means to apply market thinking to our environment.

Wildlife Conservation in America


Too often, public policies that aim to protect species end up unintentionally stifling conservation and discouraging landowners from providing critical wildlife habitat. If, instead, we could make wildlife an asset rather than a liability to the private landowners who they often depend on for critical habitat, we can better ensure our wildlife are cared for and managed in a sustainable way. This webinar, hosted by the American Conservation Coalition and featuring PERC’s Hannah Downey, provides insight into how wildlife are managed in America today and what improvements can be made.

This Land is Whose?

From national parks and forests to rangelands and mineral resources, effective public land management is critical for conservation and prosperity. But today’s federal land agencies face a host of challenges, including growing maintenance backlogs, poor environmental stewardship, and excessive “analysis paralysis” that increases costs and delays effective management. This webinar, hosted by the American Conservation Coalition Campus chapter (ACC Campus) and featuring PERC’s Holly Fretwell, defines current federal land management policies and explores how market practices and incentive structures can improve how we manage and pay for our public lands.

How to (Legally) Become a Tiger King

This webinar, hosted by the Pacific Legal Foundation and featuring PERC’s Catherine Semcer and Jonathan Wood, seeks to answer the question, “Can private ownership of wildlife actually lead to improved wildlife conservation?”.

Trophy Hunting: Does hunting wild animals save them?


Though an uncomfortable reality, trophy hunting has a proven track record of helping conserve imperiled species throughout Africa. Because trophy hunting generates revenue, habitat conservation becomes a viable land use. Similarly, the proceeds from trophy hunting are often used to fund anti-poaching units. By turning wildlife from liabilities into assets, local communities are empowered to help conserve these precious species. Hosted by the Centre for Civil Society in Mumbai, India, and featuring PERC’s Catherine Semcer, this webinar explores the merits of trophy hunting and how it can be used as a conservation tool.

Covid-19 and the Environment


Is there a relationship between Covid-19 and the environment? How can the free market align incentives in order to protect and conserve our environment? This webinar hosted by the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) and featuring PERC’s Holly Fretwell explores the perceived effects of the global pandemic on the environment and explains how property rights and market incentives can produce good environmental outcomes.