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.
"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."
Well then fight it in court. A find of a single specimen does not cosntitute a breeding resident population and shouldn't stop the project if that is the case.
"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."
Yeah - within limits. You can't have a pig farm in the middle of a residential subdivision or a shooting range next to a school yard.
"Or are you one of the ones who want a post-Constitutional America with only the environmentalists controlling property?"
I believe very strongly in the Constitution. But I also beleive the government has the responsibility and the right to preserve for the future what is valuable in the present.
"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."
Maybe just outside and maybe in a small city in Middle America. The gigantic conrete and asphalt ponderosas of the large metropolitan areas do not make room for much more than vermin and people.
"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 ."
If they like their damn cities so much they should stay there and not come out into the Country and interfere with my right to hunt and fish and shoot with their uncontrolled development. I am no liberal and I know a lot of conservatives who feel the same as I do. They are sick and tired of hordes and hordes of city folks moving out into the Country because they hate the city and then turning the Country into a bigger city.
"some people like the fellow up in Alaska, loved bears so much they ate him."
That guy was an idiot or a fanatic. I love bears too - from a distance or in the sights of my rifle or on a dinner table.
"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."
Like any other movement, the environmentalists have their kooks too. Unfortunately because it is politically correct, environmentalism is not subjected to the same media scrutiny as the NRA and us gun-owners.
However, there is a happy medium. We can have our cities and malls and salamanders too - we just have to work out a balance and you must admit that developers have really ruined a lot of America.
Do you know what its like to live in a small nice sleepy American town with ordinary folks who all know each other, where you can go for a hike in the woods, fish, hunt or target practise with no problem? And then all of a sudden, some slick city feller buys up a large tract of land and builds a bunch of ugly look-alike houses and a bunch of rude, always rushing around, fast-living city people move in and your taxes go sky-high because the town needs to triple its police force and build new schools for the children of those folks who hate you, your dogs, your guns, your entire way of life and think you are some kind of ignorant inbred redneck because you were there before them?
"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."
You do realize don't you, that these non scientific enviro rules about salamanders, fairy shrimp and sucker fish have done more to drive farmers from their land and growing your food than developers? Bruce Babbitt, after doing all he could to drive people from their homes works now to ignore those "rules" and acts as a lobbyist for developers, and gets the land for them. None of this scenario is about the environment. It's about padding a bunch of lawyers and politicians pockets.
Your response is - hogwash.
Why are they blaming Newt?
May I direct you to a post on another thread, by another poster who will also explain to you more about this future generations garbage?
The tentacles of the subversives are diversified, widespread and deep into the fabric of our country.
The young radicals (communists/socialists) of the 60s have become college professors, teachers, lawyers, politicians, clergy, news and entertainment media and the business world elite. They are educating and recruiting our young for their replacements. They are taking OUR country away from us and saving it for the Future owners.
The list at this Link shows what they have accomplished. There have been several additions to this list:
1. They have gotten environmental and regulatory control (NGOs) over most businesses, resources of water, forests, oil, farming, ranching and mining in order to eliminate their profits and shut them down.
2. They are in the process of bankrupting the people and government with lawsuits, social programs, environmental programs and out-right GIVING money to socialist front groups, the UN and foreign countries.
3. They are eliminating our jobs as much as they can with the above methods and with foreign treaties. NAFTA, FTAA, etc.
Agenda 21 is just another example of what is going on below the surface.
Agenda 21 -- the blueprint to advance Sustainable Development
"Your response is - hogwash."
And that is a typical liberal "answer".
Just because you are not familiar with some facts doesn't mean they don't have validity.
You might enjoy this thread.
It's going to cost the county, what, $24 million? How many lives will it cost if the county decides it hasn't enough money to subsidize having a Trauma Unit in the local hospital? How many lives will it cost if they have less money for fire, police, and ambulance services? I'm guessing hundreds, over the years.
Wasted money DOES cost lives
Thank you. What an excellent response to the cavalier attitude some people have about the citizen's tax money.
And, BTW, we no longer have a trauma center in our county. All trauma victims now have to be flown to San Jose-- just because of the poor stewardship by our county government and lawsuits against the government.
Here in Nashville, we feed our Salamanders kerosene.
Salamanders serve no useful purpose; none.
Give it up, you've proved wrong and out-argued.
Knock it off, before I sheik the snaught outta you.
Wow! It must get interesting around there during a thunderstorm.
I remember when the S.F. Airport work was shut down because a work truck ran over a protected snake.
Aw, but the mental picture of kerosene fed salamanders scurrying to escape the thunderstorm, couldn't be resisted.
The mythological salamander--
1855 - BULFINCH'S MYTHOLOGY:
The following is from the "Life of Benvenuto Cellini," an Italian artist of the sixteenth century, written by himself: "When I was about five years of age, my father, happening to be in a little room in which they had been washing, and where there was a good fire of oak burning, looked into the flames and saw a little animal resembling a lizard, which could live in the hottest part of that element. Instantly perceiving what it was, he called for my sister and me, and after he had shown us the creature, he gave me a box on the ear. I fell a-crying, while he, soothing me with caresses, spoke these words: 'My dear child, I do not give you that blow for any fault you have committed, but that you may recollect that the little creature you see in the fire is a salamander; such a one as never was beheld before to my knowledge.' So saying he embraced me, and gave me some money."
It seems unreasonable to doubt a story of which Signor Cellini was both an eye and ear witness. Add to which the authority of numerous sage philosophers, at the head of whom are Aristotle and Pliny, affirms this power of the salamander. According to them, the animal not only resists fire, but extinguishes it, and when he sees the flame charges it as an enemy which he well knows how to vanquish.
That the skin of an animal which could resist the action of fire should be considered proof against that element is not to be wondered at. We accordingly find that a cloth made of the skin of salamanders (for there really is such an animal, a kind of lizard) was incombustible, and very valuable, for wrapping up such articles as were too precious to be intrusted to any other envelopes. These fire-proof cloths were actually produced, said to be made of salamander's wool, though the knowing ones detected that the substance of which they were composed was asbestos, a mineral, which is in fine filaments capable of being woven into a flexible cloth.
The foundation of the above fables is supposed to be the fact that the salamander really does secrete from the pores of his body a milky juice, which when he is irritated is produced in considerable quantity, and would doubtless, for a few moments, defend the body from fire. Then it is a hibernating animal, and in winter retires to some hollow tree or other cavity, where it coils itself up and remains in a torpid state till the spring again calls it forth. It may therefore sometimes be carried with the fuel to the fire, and wake up only time enough to put forth all its faculties for its defence. Its viscous juice would do good service, and all who profess to have seen it, acknowledge that it got out of the fire as fast as its legs could carry it; indeed, too fast for them ever to make prize of one, except in one instance, and in that one the animal's feet and some parts of its body were badly burned.
Dr. Young, in the "Night Thoughts," with more quaintness than good taste, compares the sceptic who can remain unmoved in the contemplation of the starry heavens to a salamander unwarmed in the fire:
"An undevout astronomer is mad!
. . . . . . .
"O, what a genius must inform the skies!
And is Lorenzo's salamander-heart
Cold and untouched amid these sacred fires?"
But I too, could write such doubtlessly famous marvelings had I a touch of the fiery liquid to warm my poet's soul.
Did have a nice pair of Snail Darters for a while, until the guy who sold them to me went to jail for fraud; did you know that catfish minnows don't even make good bait?
Monterey to Tennesee? Sounds like a good transition to me. Santa Cruz has become the black heart of the beast, and it is difficult living here most of the time.
Made one trip into Santa Cruz in about 67; saw this lady fishing off the two-lane highway bridge in the bay, she looked like she just stepped off the Pancake box, bandanna and all - dinner, I guess.
Like your knows, you no?
The guy who wrote that back in 1963 was very prescient.
Just about everything he predicted has come true. And yet the evil empire is dead and the trype it represented is more alive and flourishing here in America than in the old Soviet Union.
However, again, I think you are overreacting to this issue.
Personally, I don't know all that much about the Endangered Spieces Act. I do know government has to be scrutinized to make sure it doesn't exceed its bounds. But NOTHING, NO RIGHT is absolute - NONE of them. All of them are subject to SOME restrictions or we would live in anarchy.
But if we hadn't taken steps in the past to preserve endangered wildlife and prevent habitat destruction, our National Symbol, the bald eagle, would be extinct. Buffalo would be extinct. Bears and wolves would no longer exist - anywhere.
I agree with you about NAFTA, but many good conservatives would say the jobs lost overseas have been replaced here by other jobs and by employing people in other countries they are better able to afford our own exports.
Conservatism and liberalism are not defined by individual litmus tests on signle issues. They are defined by an overall attitude on a multiplicity of varying issues.
Just because I disagree with you in part on this issue doesn't make me a conservative. If I was a liberal I would hunt and own a gun or hate Bill Clinton, or oppose abortion and homosexual marriages or dislike courts which legislate from the bench, or be repelled by revisionist theologians.
But you have to understand how OUR government operates. Lobbyists with money get what they want. So do lobbyists with votes. If they have BOTH, they get even more.
Yes, the radical environmentalists haver a lot of power in Washington. But so do the Construction Unions and Construction lobbies and what is good for the Country and America as a whole should always take precedence, not what an indiviual lobbying group wants.
I read it. I agree with most of it. I fail to see what it has to do with the issue at hand.
Are you maintaining that its totally irrelvant to you if all species of animals disappear except for what we can cook?
Do you want to live in a world of concrete and asphalt and planted city parks?
Do you not want your children to have an opportunity to hunt and fish and hike in a wilderness?
Don't you want some vestige of the the America that Washington, the pilgrims, the Indians, etc, saw left for posterity?
The people who live in large cities, for the most part, do NOT think like conservatives, they think like liberals.
They don't like guns, hunting, and feel the government should be the answer to everybody's problems.
Do you wnat more and more of these people perpetuated in America?
Is THEIR lifestyle what you want to leave as a legacy to your children?
Personally, I would be happier living in 17th Century America and the closer we can get to that ideal the better.