Thursday, May 08, 2003

Bears Under Attack

"Activists sue U.S. Wildlife Service over the killing of bears" reads the headline in a news item. Apparently an environmental group is challenging a federal agency's policy of killing black bears that strip bark from young trees in timber plantations in western Oregon. I'm serious. It may sound like a joke, but it is rather the way that some do-gooders attempt to "protect" our "environment."

The Numbers: 110 out of 25,000 bears are killed each year in order to protect "more than one million dollars" worth of timber. I am often, when I contemplate such activities, driven to note the enormous wealth of our great nation. Like the "Million Dollar Salmon*", the amount of money that is spent on the protection of wildlife here is nothing short of amazing. This extreme affluence should make us all proud. Let both sides choose their weapons, and may the best man win!

* Million dollar Salmon: I have previously written extensively on the million dollar Salmon of SeaTac airport. Apparently the airport needed an additional runway. Environmental groups sued to stop the construction. A compromise was enacted in which Two Hundred and Ten Million dollars was spent in order to provide a reservoir that would facilitate continuous flow into a stream, the natural flow of which would be adversely impacted by the construction. This reservoir would protect the lives of approximately 200 salmon, thus the "Million Dollar Salmon" sobriquet was applied to the project by yours truly. Apparently, I am the only person in the State of Washington who did the math and realized that this project would cost ONE MILLION DOLLARS PER SALMON. In the local papers it was reported that since this would be federal dollars, and that if the project was not constructed the federal government would merely not spend, and therefore keep, the $210,000,000.00, the project was, and I kid you not, the local papers reported, FREE!!! In case you care, the particular Salmon that were affected are not of a species that is on the endangered species list. These are just normal, meat salmon. You can be proud that your government is willing to spend over $40,000 per pound to preserve the habitat of these lucky fish. At about $2,000,000 per year to maintain the dams and regulate the water level in the stream, that amounts to $500 dollars per pound each year to support the lifestyles of these tasty morsels of Lox for the residents of Washington to put on their bagels. What a country!!!