July 30, 2011

BACK WHEN THERE WAS SOMEONE LEFT WHO BELIEVED IN DARWINISM...:

Environmentalist Wisdom: Shoot One Owl to Save The Other: The feds take sides in the battle between spotted owls and barred owls. (JAMES L. HUFFMAN, 7/29/11. WSJ)

The final Revised Recovery Plan, issued on June 30, calls for expanding protections for owls beyond the nearly six million acres currently set aside. Ironically, it also calls for the "removal"--i.e., shooting--of hundreds of barred owls, a larger and more adaptable rival of the spotted owl that competes for prey and nesting sites, and sometimes breeds with the spotted owl.

How much will it cost to implement this plan? The Fish and Wildlife Service says the species could be rejuvenated over the next 30 years at a cost of about $127 million. But that money will do little if anything to rejuvenate the depressed rural communities of the Northwest where still more timber land will be off limits to harvesting.

The truth is that no one fully understands why the spotted owl continues to decline. The rise of the barred owl poses an unexpected, but not surprising, complication. If the natural world would just remain static, species preservation and ecological management would be far simpler. But Mother Nature relishes competition, and the barred owl is a fierce competitor. Are we really prepared to send armed federal agents into Northwest forests in search of barred owls? And what will groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have to say as the carcasses pile up?


...you wouldn't even have had to pretend that owls that freely breed together are different species.


Posted by at July 30, 2011 7:31 AM
  

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