Category Archive 'Endangered Species'
18 Apr 2012
The government spent at least $205,075 in 2010 to â€œtranslocateâ€ a single bush in San Francisco that stood in the path of a $1.045-billion highway-renovation project that was partially funded by the economic stimulus legislation President Barack Obama signed in 2009.
â€œIn October 2009, an ecologist identified a plant growing in a concrete-bound median strip along Doyle Drive in the Presidio as Arctostaphylos franciscana,â€ the U.S. Department of Interior reported in the Aug. 10, 2010 edition of the Federal Register. â€œThe plantâ€™s location was directly in the footprint of a roadway improvement project designed to upgrade the seismic and structural integrity of the south access to the Golden Gate Bridge.
â€œThe translocation of the Arctostaphylos franciscana plant to an active native plant management area of the Presidio was accomplished, apparently successfully and according to plan, on January 23, 2010,â€ the Interior Department reported.
The bushâ€”a Franciscan manzanitaâ€”was a specimen of a commercially cultivated species of shrub that can be purchased from nurseries for as little as $15.98 per plant. The particular plant in question, however, was discovered in the midst of the City of San Francisco, in the median strip of a highway, and was deemed to be the last example of the species in the â€œwild.â€
Prior to the discovery of this â€œwildâ€ Franciscan manzanita, the plant had been considered extinct for as long as 62 years–extinct, that is, outside of peopleâ€™s yards and botanical gardens. …
While the MOA did not detail all the costs for moving the bush, it did state that in addition to funding removal and transportation of the Franciscan manzanita, Caltrans agreed to transfer $79,470 to the Presidio Trust â€œto fund the establishment, nurturing, and monitoring of the Mother Plant in its new location for a period not to exceed ten (10) years following relocation and two (2) years for salvaged rooted layers and cuttings according to the activities outlined in the Conservation Plan.â€
Furthermore, Presidio Parkway Project spokesperson Molly Graham told CNSNews.com that the â€œhard removalâ€â€”n.b. actually digging up the plant, putting it on a truck, driving it somewhere else and replanting it–cost $100,000.
The MOA also stated that Caltrans agreed to â€œTransfer $25,605.00 to the Trust to fund the costs of reporting requirements of the initial 10-year period as outlined in the Conservation Plan.â€
The $100,000 to pay for the â€œhard removal,â€ the $79,470 to pay for the â€œestablishment, nurturing and monitoringâ€ of the plant for a decade after its â€œhard removal,â€ and the $25,605 to cover the â€œreporting requirementsâ€ for the decade after the â€œhard removal,â€ equaled a total cost of $205,075 for â€œtranslocatingâ€ this manzanita bush.
But those were not the only costs incurred by taxpayers on behalf of the bush. According to the MOA, other costs included:
–â€œContract for and provide funding not to exceed $7,025.00 for initial genetic or chromosomal testing of the Mother Plant by a qualified expert to be selected at Caltransâ€™ sole discretion.â€ (MOA – Fran Man – 2009.pdf)
–â€œContract for and fund the input, guidance, and advice of a qualified Manzanita expert on an as-needed basis to support the tending of the Mother Plant for a period not to exceed five (5) years, provided that said expert selection, retention and replacement at any point after hiring rests in the sole discretion of Caltrans.â€
â€œProvide funding not to exceed $5,000.00 to each of 3 botanical gardens (Strybing, UC, and Tilden) to nurture salvaged rooted layers and to monitor and report findings as outlined in the Conservation Plan.â€
–â€œProvide funding not to exceed $1,500.00 for the long-term seed storage of 300 seeds collected around the Mother Plant in November 2009 as outlined in the Conservation Plan.â€
The plant is now protected by a fence and its location is kept secret, in part because the Presidio Trust and the National Park Service fear that nature-lovers seeking to see the rare wild Manzanita might trample it to death.
This nursery normally sells Franciscan manzanita.
It is a bit complicated. Hooker’s manzanita is a shrub indigenous to the San Franciso Bay Area with several subspecies. One of these subspecies, Franciscan manzanita, was thought to be “extinct in the wild.”
It, nonetheless, survived in cultivation in yards and gardens, and could be purchased from nurseries at modest prices.
Doubtless, the extinction “in the wild” of the subspecies specifically associated with San Francisco has a lot to do with the reduction of the extent of “the wild” in an intensely developed, densely populated urban center.
So, having found an example flourishing in what the authorities choose to define as the wild, those same authorities with the characteristic wisdom and fiscal responsibility concluded that pompous, heroic (and very costly) measures had to be taken to save the contextually-precious plant.
No one in authority noticed that all this was complete madness.
15 May 2008
Gateway Pundit notes that Polar bear numbers are up in 11 of 13 regions of Canada recently.
And successful conservation practices have dramatically restored bear numbers over the past half century.
While Arctic ice levels are at their highest point in 15 years.
But none of these considerations prevented the Bush Administration’s Department of the Interior from swallowing journalists’ fairy tales based upon somebody’s computer model and placing Polar Bears on the Threatened Species List. The purely imaginary decline, thought by some Interior Department experts to be a future possibility, is attributed to imaginary Anthropogenic Global Warming.
There’s your Republican government at work for you, identifying a non-existent problem contrary to the evidence of the facts on the basis of the other side’s ideology out of political cowardice.
Obama or Hillary can complete the process next year, and assure that all energy exploration in the Arctic will be firmly prohibited by law.
10 Apr 2008
No one wants to see the last remnant breeding population of the Greater Spotted Watzit hunted to extinction. So passing Endangered Species Legislation internationally was a piece of cake. Hunters and animal rights enthusiasts came happily together, beaming with joy, as our political leaders a generation ago signed measures providing such protections into law.
No one foresaw that, in the United States, obscure and totally uninteresting weeds, rodents, or newts would soon be utilized to block developments opposed by selfish neighbors or mere crackpots.
It was also overlooked that somebody, i.e. a committee of obscure and unknown academics meeting happily during well-funded junkets to Geneva, would be empowered to identify as “Endangered” anything they pleased, with no appeal, or recourse to the facts, available.
Big game hunters soon found that many trophies of legally shot game species could no longer be brought back from Safari, because, for instance, the reduction of numbers of leopards in certain portions of the big cat’s historic range (and the politics of preservationism) proved perfectly adequate to persuade the Olympians meeting in Geneva to declare all leopards “endangered,” even where leopards were superabundant or where leopards locally represented a hazard or a pest.
In today’s Britain, superabundant badgers are causing problems for farmers by spreading bovine tuberculosis, but Brock the Badger is utterly and completely protected by law. So much as mess with a badger’s den, and you may get six months in chokey for every badger you’ve theoretically inconvenienced.
The Times of London notes:
Once a species manages to creep on to a protected list, there is no shifting it. Badgers have gained their untouchable status because, in the 1950s and 1960s, farmers were ploughing up their setts. A law requiring farmers to seek licences before destroying setts was passed in 1973. As a result, badgers featured in the Council of Europe’s Bern Treaty in 1979, which committed Britain to protecting the species for ever after. The more badger numbers have increased, the more the Government has defended them. The 1992 Act does include provisions for farmers to seek licences to control badgers, but hardly any have been issued since 1997.
In other words, whether an animal is protected or not owes little to its current numbers; it just depends on how EU ministers were feeling after a good lunch in Switzerland 29 years ago.
Hat tip to Frank Dobbs.
18 Oct 2007
California’s formerly-Republican Governor has signed two anti-gun bills embodying controversial theories.
Assembly Bill 821 bans the use of lead bullets in a number of California hunting zones inhabited by the California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus) on the basis of the belief that the few surviving California Condors could ingest bullets from wounded-and-lost game animals or from hunter’s gut piles, then fail to regurgitate or quickly pass such foreign objects, consequently succumbing to lead poisoning.
Journalists report studies supporting such deaths, but those familiar with the digestive processes of raptors generally may well find it difficult to believe that indigestible lumps of metal are likely to remain inside the birds long enough to produce poisoning. Vulturine birds like other raptors eject indigestible portions of prey or carrion, such as bone or fur or feathers, in the form of pellets.
Arnold Schwarzenneger also signed the patently absurd Assembly Bill 1471 which mandates the application of imaginary non-existent technology in semiautomatic pistols. After January 1st, 2010, semiauto pistols in California must be
designed and equipped with a microscopic array of characters that identify the make, model, and serial number of the pistol, etched or otherwise imprinted onto in two or more places on the interior surface or internal working parts of the pistol, and that are transferred by imprinting on each cartridge case when the firearm is fired.
California’s democrat-majority assembly pretends to believe that an ability to trace ejected cartridge casings to specific individual firearms would be of great value in crime solving. That theory, of course, overlooks the possibility of smart criminals simply picking up their spent cases at shooting scenes, the truly diabolical taking a file to the microscopic array, and the just-plain-practical throwing the murder weapon into the Pacific.
In reality, of course, the impact (and concealed intention) is really simply to ban semi-automatic pistols in the state of California.
Governor Schwarzenegger ran originally as a Republican and a reformer. When he found himself taking large hits in the polls as the result of massive political advertising by state employee’s unions and hostile coverage by the liberal establishment media, he sold out and made peace with the democrat legislature, the unions, and the liberal activist lobby groups. Now he gets flattering press coverage for precisely this kind of betrayal.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation observed:
Governor Schwarzenegger has now effectively banned more firearms than Senators Kennedy, Feinstein and Schumer combined,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “The governor has proven to gun owners and sportsmen that he is just another liberal anti-gun Hollywood actor — he just plays a moderate Republican on TV. Mr. Schwarzenegger has now exposed himself for what he really is, the most anti-gun and anti-sportsmen governor in America.
11 Sep 2007
Gyrinophilus porphyriticus porphyriticus
A single Northern Spring Salamander spotted across the road from the site of Jake Halpern‘s family’s intended vacation retreat in 1988 resulted in a building ban twelve years later, two years of negotiations with the state, a compromise involving the construction of two bridges, one 76 feet (23.16 meters) long.
Then, Massachusetts took the Spring Salamander off its Endangered Species list.
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