Tuesday, June 29, 2004


"The Preble's meadow jumping mouse is a timorous nocturnal beast of the highland prairie, protected from human dominion in Colorado and Wyoming since 1998 by the Federal Endangered Species Act. Dr. Rob Roy Ramey II is a scientist at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science who will tell anyone who asks, including Congress, that he thinks the trouble with Preble's is that they are not threatened with extinction at all. Not even a proper subspecies, he adds. Dr. Ramey believes that the mouse got on the protected list based on guesswork and outdated science, and that it is genetically identical to its cousin, the Bear Lodge meadow jumping mouse, which hops in happy abundance in Montana and South Dakota. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service, spurred in part by his research, which it helped finance, is midway through a Preble's reassessment and is scheduled to make a recommendation about the creature's legal status by early next year.

But the standoff of man and mouse is already turning up a lot of other questions that have little to do with rodent DNA, mouse habitat or the vicissitudes of the scientific method. Environmentalists say, for example, that what's good for a Preble's - clean water to drink and open land on which to jump - is good for other earthborn mortals too, including humans, and that having the mouse on the threatened list has been a powerful lever to safeguard the regional environment in a rapidly developing corner of the West. If the mouse goes, they say, so too will those protections to the land. The mouse's threatened status has compelled communities that are building new water projects to leave areas undisturbed for mouse habitat, park managers to keep hikers and bikers on trails, and ranchers to take extra care in maintaining drainage ditches where the mice can cluster.....

Critics of Preble's protection say that politics have been put ahead of science. "Colorado and Wyoming have spent countless millions to recover a species that never should never have been listed in the first place," said Ryan Lance, the Endangered Species Act policy coordinator for Wyoming, which also helped pay for Dr. Ramey's research and filed a petition late last year to remove the mouse from the threatened list. Mr. Lance said he thought the prospects were good that the Preble's would be turned out to its own resources and thrive, with the protections never missed.....

Dr. Ramey, an avid rock climber who once spent six days suspended on the side of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park doing research on Peregrine falcons, said he believed science must always be willing to throw out the baby with the bathwater, ruthlessly questioning and challenging every past conclusion and assumption because that is how truth is derived. He also believes that some species advance toward protected status less on the basis of science than on political pressure..."

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

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