Monday, February 8, 2010

$1.5 Million for a Hunting License

Alaska Has Money to Burn ---  Unlike the sad poor State of Michigan, the State of Alaska must have tons of cash to throw around.  Last week, its Legislative Council allocated $1.5 million to get people activated and to lobby the United States Government -- you know -- we the people -- to weaken the Endangered Species Act.  They want the polar bear removed from "threatened species" classification.

Those Alaskan Legislators want to hire a Public Relations firm to organize a "conference" in Anchorage to address the issue and to organize a so-called "grassroots" uprising to protest the Endangered Species Act.  No doubt they will call it an evil big government program.......  They want a national call for limiting the ESA.  In other words --- astroturfing --- organize the people --- organize the fake outrage ---  AND spend the taxpayers' money to argue FOR an issue.

Yes, the polar bear population and the corporations that want to exploit develop Alaska's natural resources are at odds with one another.  Alaska already has an ongoing lawsuit against the Federal Government for listing the polar bear in the Endangered Species Act.  This latest move by the Alaskan government seems to be an unusual and risky move.  Do all Alaskans believe that spending $1.5 million to fight the ESA is a wise expenditure of their money?

From the NYT:

The impact of the listing on resource development in Alaska remains unclear.

Fish and Wildlife officials stress that the protections aren’t meant to block resource development, but simply to ensure it’s done in a way that doesn’t threaten the species or its habitat.

But Rebecca Noblin, a staff attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, which petitioned to have the bear listed, argued that the listing should block resource development.

“Climate change is absolutely the biggest threat to polar bears,” she said. “Since they’re already in this weakened state, we need to do everything we can to eliminate other stressors.”


Hmmmm.  Is it cheaper to fight the U.S. Federal Government or to accommodate the threatened species and their habitats?  Seems like a helluva lot of money for a hunting license.  (H/T to Talking Points Memo Muckraker)

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