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Leaping Lizards: Absurd Science of ESA; Update 2011

Whackos-Leaping Lizards Sac Union, Aug 20, 1990, A-2.

The Department of Fish and Game is considering banning all off-road vehicles from
thousands of miles of Southern California Desert. It seems that a study shows
that dirt bikes destroy the hearing of desert critters. This study and others
helped advance a lizard’s status to that of an endangered species.

Now an insider reports on how some of the science was conducted to study the
Flat-tailed Horned Lizard.

Problem: Bike and lizard are not unlike Roadrunner cartoons. That is, machine-amphibian
interaction could only be measured in split seconds. Impact on candidate species was zilch.

Solution: Record bike engine at high-noise level. Place lizard inside a 4-x-4-inch cage, tape
cage-lizard assembly to blasting speakers for half hour.

Result: Species hearing impaired, therefor ban bikes.

Question: What happened to the “endangered”
lizard in the experiment? The scientists said: We terminated him.

Editor Update: Science outwithstanding, lizard won

U.S. Fish and Wildlife rejected an endangered
listing for the fourth time in March 2011. All prior rejections were successfully
challenged in court by the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of
Wildlife, the Sierra Club and the Horned Lizard Conservation Society. In
practice the species is protected on habitat of 457, 000 acres where human
activity is subject to arrest and prosecution. OHV enthusiasts are limit to existing roads,
trails and restrictive permits.

Ironically the proposed Imperial Valley Solar Project threatens 10 square miles of lizard habitat.

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