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Reason Foundation

Stop that Habitat!

Adrian Moore
January 3, 2005, 6:02am

The irony is just rich. A a small town in coastal California buys some farmland to turn into a city park. But while waiting for funding to build the park, the land threatens to go to seed. Endangered species may move in. The city's plans may be derailed. When "public" land is so threatened, it is a crisis that must be prevented. When private land is so threatened. . . tough! Sigh. Reminds me of another ironic habitat story. The New River flows north from Mexico into the Salton Sea in Southern California. Sewage and farm runoff have filled the water with polluting solids. So Congress has funded a project to build wetlands along the river to clean out the solids. Now, man-made wetlands are an established means of cleaning waste, but even though birding groups like Duck Unlimited and many others use them to create habitat, man-made habitat has no legitimacy with environmental activists and most of the federal government. The New River project cannot get any credit for creating habitat from enviro activists or state and federal agencies, but local birding groups find them to be a mecca.

Adrian Moore is Vice President, Policy


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