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ESA for Dummies!

They believe it's a nice warm, fuzzy law written to protect little critters who can't protect themselves.

May 15, 2019

We don't think most people understand the Endangered Species Act.  They believe it's a nice warm, fuzzy law written to protect little critters who can't protect themselves.  In some ways it is, but it's not written perfectly.  There are flaws in the law that need to be changed.  The people who have been ravaged by fire in Paradise are beginning to see the flaws.  Farmers have been seeing the flaws for years, but haven't been able to convince anyone to accept their point of view.  Maybe Paradise can be a teachable moment.  

This is the latest headline out of Paradise:  ‘Absurd’ delay in Paradise: Endangered frog species blocking Camp Fire cleanup."  Maybe this will resonate with the people of California, that the Endangered Species Act is preventing debris cleanup in Paradise.  Farmers never get a headline like that when the ESA prevents them from getting water for farming.  Imagine a headline that said "Absurd Water Reduction for Farmers, Endangered Smelt Blocking the Pumps."  We won't hold our breath.

The people in Paradise have heard from Fish and Wildlife officials who told them "800 properties near waterways require an extra level of site assessment before they are allowed to be cleaned, to make sure the work will not cause environmental harm...and said the state expects to have a protocol in place in the next few days...did not say what that protocol would look like, who would be inspecting the home sites, when they would do it, and what would happen at a site if an endangered species were found or some other environmental concern were to arise."


Nothing in the ESA takes impacts on humans into consideration, and that's why there are a couple of things we'd like to change in the Endangered Species Law.  First, some consideration for human beings.  There needs to be some balance between helping the endangered species and what impacts it has on humans.  It's all about the endangered species, no consideration for human misery.  Second, a little accountability for achieving some specified goals when water is designated for the environment.  When environmentalists fight and get water there is never any accountability for results, never any consequences for being wrong.   

Whenever changes like these are proposed environmentalists complain that the law is being gutted.  It's not.  It's being modified to take impacts on humans into consideration.  Maybe the 'absurd' situation in Paradise will make the point about the law farmers haven't been able to make.  Let's hope so.


‘Absurd’ delay in Paradise: Endangered frog species blocking Camp Fire cleanup

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