Skip to comments.APNewsBreak: Protection sought for rare woodpecker [More forest fires needed!]
Posted on 05/02/2012 6:04:42 PM PDT by Hunton Peck
Smokey Bear has done such a good job stamping out forest fires the past half-century that a woodpecker that's survived for millions of years by eating beetle larvae in burned trees is in danger of going extinct in parts of the West, according to conservationists seeking U.S. protection for the bird.
Four conservation groups filed a petition with the U.S. Interior Department on Wednesday to list the black-backed woodpecker under the Endangered Species Act in the Sierra Nevada, Oregon's Eastern Cascades and the Black Hills of eastern Wyoming and western South Dakota.
It is the first federal petition to recognize the ecological significance and seek protection of post-fire habitat, an expert said.
In addition to fire suppression, the groups contend post-fire salvage logging combined with commercial thinning of green forests is eliminating what little remains of the bird's habitat, mostly in national forests where it has no legal protection.
"Intensely burned forest habitat not only has no legal protection, but standard practice on private and public lands is to actively eliminate it," the petition said. "When fire and insect outbreaks create excellent woodpecker habitat, salvage logging promptly destroys it."
Chad Hanson, executive director the Earth Island's John Muir Project based in Cedar Ridge, Calif., filed the petition Wednesday with the Interior Department's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Sacramento. Co-petitioners are the Center for Biological Diversity based in Tucson, Ariz., the Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project in Fossil, Ore., and the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance in Laramie, Wyo.
Hanson, a wildlife ecologist at the University of California, Davis, said the black-backed woodpecker has been eating beetles in fire-killed stands of conifer forests for millions of years and specifically in North American forests for "many thousand years - since the last Ice Age."
"Now, it's very rare," he said.
The best science suggests...
(Excerpt) Read more at hosted.ap.org ...
I would say that this is a travesty, but the sad fact remains that if the enviro-nazis succeed in using the ESA on sub-species and races, virtually ALL human development will come to a complete standstill.
But, of course, that's what these anti-human groups want. And I have no faith in the 9th Circuit to end these lawsuits either. This is a very dangerous, destructive precedent (if these kook environmentalists win).
Thanks for the ping, Jaz! I'm back for a couple days but I'm off to the field again on Sunday.
Your statement regarding the ESA on sub-species and human development is so true, that has been the intention of the eco-freaks for way too many years. I wouldn't want to even try to guess the dollar amount they've cost this country in use of lands and resources but it's got to be somewhere up there close to our national debt.
Glad to hear you're getting a day or two off once in a while. :-)
Seen / heard anything interesting ?
While my wife and I were driving her sister home at night, I happened to come across a rattlesnake in the road (one of the rare paved roads where I live). I stopped the car and got out and grabbed a stick and moved the snake off the road. To my surprise, it was a sidewinder. I say "surprise" because all the other sidewinders I've encountered have been roadkill. I'm quite pleased that I was able (at least temporarily) to keep it from getting killed.
Now get this: Within one mile after moving on, we spied another snake in the road. I got out again and, through the headlights, discovered that it was a Mojave rattlesnake, or Mojave Green as they're called here. Again, I moved it off the road, but it took two sticks to do so as this snake was highly aggressive (unlike the very retiring and shy sidewinder). From what I've read, the Mojave Green is also considered to be the most dangerous snake in North America, as its venom is not just hematoxic, as all other rattlesnakes, but neurotoxic as well. As in cobra venom. Fortunately for Americans, it is seldom encountered as it inhabits area without much people.
Except for where I live, apparently. Ha ha!
Just so you know, I'll be staying home tonight.
All the best, George!
Snake ping to you too, Jaz! Yeah, I know I should probably kill them, but I've loved snakes since I was a little kid, and I just won't kill them.
Case closed. Lol!
A group of us teenagers used to go out NW of Barstow to hunt rabbits and shoot. The closest I ever came to getting nailed by a rattler was out there and it was a Mojave Green. We were hunting slow and I passed a clump of brush of some type, when I got about 5 or so feet past it the rattler buzzed and believe me when I say I still remember it, it was loud. I'd walked to within a foot or two of him and never saw him, couldn't believe he didn't strike. That's the only MG I've ever seen and don't want to see another one. Oh, and he got shot. :) I've read that they're the most poisonous rattler in the country but I'm no authority.
I haven't killed rattlers for years unless they're close to homes or near residential areas. I don't like them but don't think there's a reason to kill them if they're where they're not a danger to people and pets.
You can have them, I'll pass. LOL!
No one is gonna watch today’s children’s cartoons in 15 years, let alone 50+.