Another reason to write congress

SUSAN FARMER farmer at cs.utk.edu
Wed Sep 22 07:45:23 EST 1993


While the change is NSF funding is worrisome, I find this *much* more 
worrisome.  Excerpts from the 20 Sept 1983 issue of _National Review_ 
(reprinted without permission).  

The article is entitled "Babbitt's Ecobabble." Beginning in paragraph 5.  
	"Thus it is no wonder that Babbitt has proposed to do away with 
'focusing on single species,' opting instead for the 'multispecies' ecosystem 
approach.  This will allow 'more flexibility' in administering and enforcing
the ESA.  Rather than going through the laborious process of scientifically
documenting the need to list each and every species, Babbitt could simply
protect ecosystems that have several hundred species in them."

Now, if this is all you hear, it sounds very good on the surface.  Ecologists
and others interested in preservation of endangered species know that ecosystem
preservation is truely the best recourse.  As a part of this, Congress must 
pass the 180-million National Biological Survey.  "The NBS would be a new 
Interior Department agency charged with gathering biological data on public and
private lands nationwide."  One problem is that if you get a handful of 
scientists together, they can't agree on what an ecosystem is, much less where
to draw the boundaries.  (My copy of the NBS should be arriving shortly in an
attempt to wade through the governmentese to verify this first-hand.) 


The *bad* thing is that under the NBS, the FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT WILL BE 
WAIVED. (emphasis mine).  If they find something endangered on your land, they 
don't have to tell you what it is only that you can no longer use your land.  
"Babbitt would rather not have to tell property owners thay can't use their 
land because the Dehli Sands fly lives on it.  Yet, that is exactly what he 
may have to tell property owners in San Bernidino County, California, if the 
fly is listed this fall, which Interior biologists say is a foregone 
conclusion."

The rest of this post is MY opinion and bears no relation to the NR article,
or anything UTK holds dear.  [End disclaimer, begin opinion :-)]
	Can you say Mineral Rights?  Do you know anybody in coal country (or 
oil country to a much less extent) who actually owns the rights to the minerals
on the land they own?  If you own a house on a coal seam, they can mine it 
right out from under you, make your house unliveable because there's no longer
a foundation under it, and don't have to compensate you a bit.  Granted, most
mineral rights were swindled away in the 20s-40s, but this will be done by the
people who brought you the IRS.  Think about it.

Susan

-- 
Susan B. Farmer     farmer at cs.utk.edu     Lady Jerusha Kilgore     
I can't even find time to clean house and you want me to come up with a .sig?
     B.A. in Computer Science ... Graduate Student in Botany
		Talk to me about your Trillium species!



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