Edward Poitevent is at the mercy of an invisible frog. He has lost private property rights on 1,500 acres to a frog species that will never live on his land and doesn’t live in his state. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is shackled to a litany of odd cases, but Poitevent’s battle with a $34-million frog may rank as the most bizarre of the lot.
Can the federal government push aside private property rights in the name of critical habitat for a species that does not live on a given piece of land, cannot live on the land with the present environmental conditions, and does not live in the bounds of the state in question? Yes; just ask Poitevent. The feds don’t have to pay a dime for the acreage, yet Poitevent can never freely develop or sell his own land.