Thursday, December 6, 2012

Misguided Owl Protection Shoots Down Jobs

In a move that surprises probably no one, Washington politicians and environmentalists have jumped the gun and are lost in the woods.

As Michelle Malkin writes in her recent commentary, the Obama administration is effectively taking hostage more than 9 million acres of West Coast timberland in order to “save” the endangered northern spotted owl. The gesture seems noble enough, until we learn the owls are not falling victim to wild-eyed lumberjacks, but rather another, more aggressive species of … owl!

Apparently the “endangered” owl has been on the decline for more than two decades with little to no evidence of man-made destruction. In fact, the only thing being destroyed is jobs as loggers and their support industries are forced to close shop. Meanwhile, the dominant species of owl has gotten so pervasive that bureaucrats have proposed shooting them!

Of course, this isn’t the first time the Endangered Species Act has misfired or otherwise failed to alter the course of nature. Since the ESA’s inception in 1973, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has implemented regulations to “protect” 1,400 animal species from decline in population by listing them as endangered. Yet ironically, they have de-listed only 20 of those. Wouldn’t a good indicator of success for government actions be measured by how many beneficiaries of those actions reached the point of no longer needing government intervention?

So why are the federal government’s mandates not actually helping species recover their populations? Because in many cases, the killers are not greedy humans running amok through the environment, but rather Mother Nature herself.

Before Washington goes killing jobs and wasting taxpayer dollars in the name of protection and regulation, it might want to determine what truly needs saving. Let’s start with jobs and taxpayer dollars.

To read Michelle Malkin’s commentary, go here.

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