The ongoing struggle between the President and Conservatives over Mr.Obama’s environmental policies is back in the news and now they have even managed to drag an endangered species into the dispute. Republicans are up in arms over what they claim is the sacrifice of the logging industry in the Pacific Northwest to save a few thousand Spotted Owls.
Outspoken Conservative journalist Michelle Malkin led a blistering attack on the President in her recent column about the decision by the White House to set aside 9.6 million acres of land in Oregon, Washington and Northern California. This is being done to protect the habitat of the Spotted Owl and according to Malkin, it is putting thousands of loggers out of work while costing the Federal Government government 700 million dollars a year in tax revenues.
Most, but not all of the land, already belongs to the Federal government and Conservatives see the move as part of a continuing program by the Obama Administration to cater to the powerful environmental organizations who make up a large portion of his constituency. Critics say this policy has destroyed the logging industry in the region and caused substantial suffering to loggers and their families.
According to the Smithsonian Magazine, “Timber harvest on 24 million acres of federal land had dropped 90 percent from its heyday” decimating the logging industry. The Federal government has also banned controlled burns in the region, which has led to a marked increase in serious forest fires.
Adding to the economic chaos and the loss of jobs in the Northwest region, the Spotted Owl has not recovered despite the complete ban on logging. The population of Spotted Owls has actually declined 40 percent in the last 25 years, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Spotted Owl is “disappearing three times faster than biologists had feared” and logging is not responsible for their decline.
The environmentalists would like to make us believe the Spotted Owl is still being victimized by humans but nothing is further from the truth. The bird has fallen prey to another, more powerful owl, the Barred Owl. The larger, more aggressive species began to migrate westward from its Eastern habitat in the 1950’s and it makes a living feeding on the same prey as the Spotted Owl.
In addition to competing with the Spotted Owl over dinner, the Barred Owl is extremely proficient at killing any Spotted Owl that happens to get in its way. The Barred Owl is known to slam into the weaker birds at high speed and rip them to shreds with their talons or decapitate the Spotted Owl in their nests.
No matter how much the environmentalists try to deny the truth, it is competition from a natural rival and not man that is causing the Spotted Owl to disappear. The only thing achieved by the ban on logging is to create incredible hardship for many thousands of human beings.
Conservatives are outraged that the Obama Administration refuses to admit failure and continues to prevent loggers from plying their trade in the forests of the great Northwest. According to advocates for the industry, modern logging is entirely different than it was in the days when forests were thought to be endless and the land was stripped bare and left in ruin.
Industry experts insist twenty first century logging is a environmentally conscious, sophisticated business that completely understands the benefits of proper forest management and when loggers work hand in hand with an administration that isn’t held hostage by the high powered Green lobby, everyone prospers including wild animals.
As the argument rages, the Obama Administration has come up with a solution to save the Spotted Owl that has sane human beings shaking their head in astonishment and horror. The forests will remain closed to logging and a program will be launched to eradicate the Barred Owl.
The plan involves “luring territorial barred owls into close range … using recorded calls and an owl decoy. … A shotgun would be used to prevent wounding and ensure rapid and humane death.” Instead of allowing nature to runs its course and let the stronger species survive, the Federal government will play God and spend the next 25 years slaughtering every Barred Owl it can find.
Ms. Malkin spoke on behalf of outraged Conservatives when she expressed her utter contempt for the plans of the Obama Administration and the bureaucrats who come up with these demented ideas:
“Twenty years of regulatory salvation have failed the northern spotted owl. Who believes that another top-down government exercise in species engineering — this time backed with bullets — will do the trick? When the government picks winners and losers, taxpayers always get screwed. No matter the job losses. No matter the death toll. Arrogant and unaccountable central planners never give a hoot.”