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What an Endangered Frog Has to Do With Your Property Rights

The Supreme Court is in the process of ruling on a case involving the endangered dusky gopher frog. (Pixabay)
Two of the first cases the Supreme Court took up in its first week of this new term involve your property rights and could affect what happens if government suddenly decides it wants a piece of your land.

One case involves private property in Louisiana and the endangered dusky gopher frog, which only exists in Mississippi.

The Poitevent family has owned thousands of acres in Louisiana dating all the way back to just after the Civil War ended. Now the government is taking a huge chunk of that timber-growing land because the endangered frog might have lived there many decades ago.

Collette Adkins is a lawyer with the Center for Biological Diversity, which backs the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declaring those acres critical habitat.

"This frog is critically endangered—just about a hundred of them left," Adkins told CBN News. "And it used to be found across Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi."

But Pacific Legal Foundation lawyer Mark Miller argued this land grab will cost his client, Edward Poitevent, millions of dollars in lost production, and some say the frog probably can't even survive on his land.

"He'd be looking at $34 million in lost income. But that doesn't matter to the government. They say it's all in service to a frog that can't live there," Miller stated.

Poitevent told CBN News it's a lot of land the government is taking from his family.

"It's over 1,500 acres, almost double the size of Central Park in New York," he said.

But conservationist Adkins insisted the frog is dead without Poitevent's land.

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