Skip to comments.Salamander endangers education, threatens property rights
Posted on 06/17/2004 10:06:43 AM PDT by hedgetrimmer
long-toed salamander is threatening to devour a $24 million school construction project and may also consume the property rights of many residents in this rural community on the Monterey Bay. No, this isn't the plot of another far-fetched disaster movie by the UFO-logists who brought us "A Day After Tomorrow". It is, however, becoming an increasingly common theme played out in communities around the nation, courtesy of eco-litigators backed by the Endangered Species Act. The Aptos Salamander situation not only provides a new perspective on the endangered-education angle, it is helping local residents recognize that the cost of eco-indulgence may be their property.
A vital point that takes the salamander puddle beyond an issue of simply sucking education funds from kids to an issue that could greatly impact the lives and property of many Aptos residents: Aptos High School (AHS) is within a one-half mile radius of the salamander pond; that's a one-mile diameter! This brings up many important issues that local media has failed to address, but that are important for homeowners to consider: How many homeowners live in the one-mile Salamander Circle? How many Aptos residents suddenly lost their rights to use and improve their property? What happens if the salamander actually migrates to the edge of the Salamander Circle -- do we then see another 1/2 diameter of private property get sucked into an ever expanding black hole of environmental protection? Is it worth every billion it costs if we save but one salamander life - or are there more responsible and effective ways to be good stewards of the earth while protecting our inalienable rights?
While most of us may be supporters of protecting endangered species, it seems important that we consider the true cost of such indulgence. Arbitrarily establishing a one-mile diameter for salamander habitat in a populated area might mean more than just taking money from kids; it may also be sacrificing the rights of many local residents to enjoy the use of their property.
A report titled "Accounting for Species: the True Costs of the Endangered Species Act" by the Property and Environment Research Center (www.perc.org/) indicates that Aptos residents may be facing what has become a common situation in today's eco-political climate. In short, if the pattern identified in the PERC report holds true, AHS may need to prepare to fork over a significant amount of bond money and land to eco-litigators and eco-consultants in the name of the salamander.
Compounding the costs, homeowners within Salamander Circle might find themselves faced with paying heavy habitat mitigation fees to eco-extortionists - or even permanent road blocks - the next time they file for a permit to improve their property. This might seem a bit "out there" for those who are seeing it for the first time; however, property owners may want to become familiar with a couple of similar cases at other California schools, as cited in the PERC report:
"Local governments everywhere are finding themselves limited by the ESA. They are not allowed to build schools, hospitals, roads, and other infrastructure projects in areas designated as critical habitat...
"A new high school was delayed one year in Vista Murrieta, California, by the Quino checkerspot butterfly. The school ended up costing... $1.25 million more than it would have cost.
"In January 2004, plans to build a new elementary school in Wildomar, California, were put on hold because of the checkerspot butterfly and the California gnatcatcher. Students will probably start school in the fall of 2004 in portable classrooms, and the school district may have to purchase other potentinal habitat as mitigation for building the school."
Fortunately, local media has put a spotlight on the eco-litigators; this could result in a less-resource-intensive resolution of the AHS construction issue. However, Salamander Circle could continue to suck money and land from Aptos residents long after the AHS construction issue is resolved. The PERC report says:
"Seventy-five percent of all listed (endangered) species have portions or all of their habitat on private lands, and landowners are not compensated for their losses from ESA regulations. The economic costs (to private land owners) of designating critical habitat just for the coastal California gnatcatcher will average $300 million per year."
Because we would all like to consider ourselves good stewards of the planet, we seem to have developed a collective tendency to look the other way when neighbors have lost their property rights to special interest groups in the name of the environment.
When a large segment of our community seems to be directly confronted by policies, procedures and laws enacted by government and non-government organizations in the name of the planet, some of us may get a tough lesson in the true cost of eco-litigation to our families, our homes and our freedoms.
Happy earth day.
How many of these lizards are left? One? [Stomp!] Problem solved ...
There is a housing development in Seascape which has a convenant for the buyer that says, if a salamander is found dead on their property, they are not to touch it, and must notify the county immediately.
Salamanders have been useful tools for the stalinists in our county government for some time now.
So the lefties in Monterey Bay are getting a taste of their own medicine and not liking it?
These eco-conscious extortionists are probably the only faction of the far left that are not beyond parody from the media. Reading this article, all I could think of was the "Screaming Caterpillar" episode of the Simpsons and the "Brian Wallows, Peter Swallows" episode of Family Guy where they rip these neo-hippies a new one.
Yikes! Don't tell anyone, but I have a lot of those salamanders on my property. Cute little critters. They float around in my koi pond. They DO migrate, btw. They stay here in the summer, mate, and then leave. I suspect they go to a pond nearby that is much much bigger than mine.
Every spring we find little "mini-me's" all over the place.
The lefties can't say that man is destroying part of nature (though, actually, they would find a way to blame it on President Bush). My cat is (everyone hold hands and take a deep breath) "part of nature".
Hey Lefties! Food chains a b*tch, huh?
Time to find and eradicate those pesky salimanders. I call for July 4 to be declared "Aptos Salamander Squishing Day".
My advice, if you ever find an endangered species on your property, kill it immediately and bury it.
The lefties are happy to sacrifice the children for the sake of a salamander. I can see the social studies teachers at Aptos High school instructing the class on how to diminish their expectations about their education and the amount of space they take up, so that the salamander can live free.
A couple of shovels full of dirt will take care of it, and you didn't touch it.
My thought exactly....
Come on. Stop this. It isn't a case of one salamander versus a human life.
Go build the thing somewhere else.
And a salamander isn't a lizard.
Once again those people who want to wipe every species of creature in the world in the their insane drive to Macadamize and McMallize the entire country have struck again.
Yes it is about 1 salamander.
It is about $24 million that the salamander will waste because the project will not be completed.
It is about the taxpayers who will have paid money into a bond that will not be spent on the project they approved.
It is about all the homeowners within a mile diameter of the sighting who will have their property rights stolen from them by the county because 1 salamander was found.
No one said anything about wiping out every species of creature in the world.
What is Macadamize and McMallize? I don't see those words in the dictionary.
Nope. It's a legal distinction, not a biological distinction. As long as the two populations can interbreed, they are not distinct species any more than asian and white people are.
"Yes it is about 1 salamander. "
No. There has to be a breeding population there unless some eco-nut just dropped off one specimen where he hoped somebody would find it.
"It is about $24 million that the salamander will waste because the project will not be completed.
It is about the taxpayers who will have paid money into a bond that will not be spent on the project they approved."
It seems to me that its more about the incompetence of local officials who didn't hire a consulting engineering firm to do an environmental study of the site before they decided to build there. If they had and this critter turned up, they could have built elsewhere. If the consultant overlooked it, the consultant's insurance company would incur the loss, not the residents.
"It is about all the homeowners within a mile diameter of the sighting who will have their property rights stolen from them by the county because 1 salamander was found."
No homeowner should have their property rights taken away without fair comepnsation.
As for professional land speculators and builders - tough. It a risk of the business. Maybe they should check out their potential construction sites better before investing.
"What is Macadamize and McMallize? I don't see those words in the dictionary."
Take a trip to the Los Angeles area, or to the area on the East Coast between Kennedy - town (Boston) and Charlotte North Carolina. Builders are buying up and developing huge tracks of land and converting good farmland and open woods into mile after mile of malls, roadways, parking lots, residential subdivisions, etc.
At the rate they are going your grandchildren will be growing up in a Country which imports all its food as well as its oil because the whole place will look like downtown Los Angeles or Mahanhattan - all concrete and asphalt. And the oly "wildlife" they will ever see will be city pigeons, cockroaches and house rats unles they go to the local museum to stare at stuffed animals.
Thats not the kind of world I want to live in or leave behind me for my grandkids.
No, they only found 1 salamander. It is on property that the school already owns, and bought before the green meanies decided they had to control every little thing a person does on this planet, so no, no environmental study was done when the property was purchased.
Environmentalists have a reputation for planting endangered species on land they want to control, whether its putting linx hair on a barbed wire fence or letting some critter go on another's property. In case you forgot, the under the Constitution, property owners have the right to do whatever they want on their property, including build school facilities.
Or are you one of the ones who want a post-Constitutional America with only the environmentalists controlling property?
Its a lie that city dwellers only see pigeons, rats and cockroaches. There are large populations of animals in city limits and just outside. Coyotes, hawks, skunks and possums make cities their homes just as other animals do. You only have to open your eyes to see the abundance of wildlife.
**Thats not the kind of world I want to live in or leave behind me for my grandkids.
Sorry, but you have to give the individual his rights if you want to live in a Constitutional America. Some people could care less if they never saw a wild animal, some people like the fellow up in Alaska, loved bears so much they ate him. The environmental movement is creating a totalitarian society, where liberty and freedom are cast aside for a collective that values a salamander over humans and Constitutional rights.
Bumping for a later read.