Saturday, June 25, 2005

For the birds

From the New York Post:

June 23, 2005 -- East Hampton Village has been forced to postpone its popular Fourth of July weekend fireworks extravaganza — until four newly hatched birds are able to celebrate their own Independence Day.

The birds, piping plover chicks, were discovered on Monday nesting with their parents on the village's popular Main Beach — near the very spot the fireworks were going to be sent rocketing skyward at the planned July 2 pyrotechnic spectacular.

Because the plovers are a federally protected endangered species, village officials had to put off their razzle-dazzle display until Labor Day — making it necessary for countless summer folk to call off their beach-house fireworks galas, the first big blasts of the season....

Under federal regulations, fireworks can't be launched anywhere within three-quarters of a mile of a plover nesting area.

"We were going to move to another spot, but there was another nest there," said Dede Flannery of Bay Fireworks....

The plovers have been given their own private stretch of sand — cordoned off with a fence to keep other beachgoers out — until they learn to fly and leave the area. That should happen before Labor Day, Cantwell said.
What rubbish! Don't be surprised, though. It's another example of rabid environmentalists hijacking your property rights. The next step is that people won't be allowed to build houses somewhere, or set aside some of their acreage, because of endangered species. Whoops, too late, as Walter Williams reminded us a few years ago:
You say: "What do you mean, Williams? The government didn't take their property; the people still hold title." Holding title to private property, all by itself, doesn't mean very much. For example, suppose the government recognizes that you can hold title to your house but forbids you from living in it. The fact that you hold title to the house would be meaningless because the government has restricted your options. By decree the government has reduced the value of your property, and as such it is a "taking" of property without just compensation in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Let's look at Oregon's Board of Forestry forcing the Seiber family to set aside 37 acres of their 200-acre plot to protect the northern spotted owl. It just might be that protecting the spotted owl is vital to the national interests. But the burden and cost of protecting the spotted owl should be borne by all Americans, not fall on particular Americans -- Mr. and Mrs. Seiber. Justice and fairness require that the Seibers be compensated for the loss in value of their property from having to set aside 37 acres.

Just compensation doesn't go over big with environmentalist wackos, simply because it would reveal the cost of their agenda. They achieve their agenda better simply by getting federal, state and local governments to run roughshod over people's rights. They pick us off one at a time. The rest of us don't know how our neighbors are being victimized and, if we did, I doubt whether there'd be many of us who'd care and be willing to help defend our fellow citizen.

We should all pause and remember that if the government can rip off one citizen, what's to say one of us won't be next?


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