A recent article in the Journal Star labeled “Tiny Owl Sparks Endangered Species Lawsuit” stating that conservationists had gone to court to stop the pygmy owl from being removed from the endangered species list. Protection of this owl which is found in more than one place in the west has stopped private and public construction including a new school northwest of Tucson, AZ.
In an article titled “Owls of Protest” dated 10/19/05, Kimberley A. Strassel, a senior editorial page writer for the Wall Street Journal wrote about a successful family shake and shingle business operating 6 mills and employing 200 people around Washington State, “By 1993 it was all gone, the last mill closed, his people unemployed, all thanks to a little predator known as the Northern spotted owl. This owl came under protection of the Endangered Species Act. This owl has become for property owners the poster child of everything wrong with the 1973 Endangered Species Act”. That law has taken a toll on thousands of communities and the speed with which that law brought entire regions to their knees indicates how badly that law has gone wrong. Northwesterners have taken to referring to this debacle as their own “Katrina”. The spotted owl law has resulted in 130,000 lost jobs, more than 900 sawmills, pulp mills and paper mills closed in the mid-90’s. The effect on small businesses was severe. Divorce rates shot up; men committed suicides. People migrated to Canada for work. Ms. Strassel continues “But at least we have the owls, right? Wrong. The old growth trees on which the owls were suppose to thrive remained but the owl population declined drastically. The answer, biologists are beginning to admit is ….another owl. Barred owls migrated into spotted owl territory decades ago and started killing the smaller spotted owl birds, driving them out of their homes, or mating with them-producing impure offspring”. “We’re seeing two species duke it out. It’s too early to tell if the spotted owls’ species will survive” says a federal wildlife biologist in 2004.
Back to the “Act”. The government is only required to use the “best available” science in determing what is protected and recovery plans. Too often “best available” science has been pushed by greens or by government biologists who have their own political agenda. The decline of the spotted owls was totally blamed on logging.
Critical habitat designations have become a powerful tool to “extremist” environmentalists, who sue to get them with the larger goal of putting more land off-limits to homeowners or workers. This focus on idle land rather than on the species itself is behind the law’s spectacular failures; in its 32 year history, the act has recovered less than one percent of listed species.
Ms. Strassel states two laws are in process in Congress to attempt to remedy some of the fatal damage already done. She ends “Whether any reform come soon enough to make a difference to those already hurt in our country, is unclear. What is clear is that those in congress who oppose reform bear the burden of explaining how a law that currently fails both species and humans can possibly be justified.” (Anyone with knowledge of how these reforms are progressing, please post below)
This Endangered Species Act was a “historic decision that became nationally important”. These “historic decision” words are the words ‘environmentalist’ Tom Edwards spoke at a meeting before the full County Board on April, 13, 2006.
The continuing series of articles will show how extremist people are plotting and acting to change the ideals and beliefs on which this country was founded and how they are attempting, under the guise of “we are just protecting our environment”, to lead us into pacifism and socialism as we now witness in old Europe. Scare tactics, threats and actual violence are all within the realm of any extremist. We have these extremists in our midst, not just in the Mid-East.