April 14, 2001
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Federally felonious frog transfers, and other endangered species
WASHINGTON, DC -- Warning: You can go to
jail for moving frogs. That's right, frogs. Transferring certain little
creatures from one place to another is now a federal
felony. That's what John J. Zentner found out in 1999 when he moved about
60 red-legged frogs and 500 tadpoles from a stream to a pond in
Although Zentner moved the frogs so they wouldn't
be harmed by
a building project where he worked as a consultant, he violated
federal law, since the red-legged frog is classified as an endangered
species. So moving them is a crime, even if no frogs were harmed by the
As punishment, the federal Department of Frogs --
Department of Justice -- demanded a 10-day jail term because of
the "serious nature" of the frog-moving crime. A local judge, however, had
mercy, and in February sentenced Zentner to only 200 hours of community service,
and imposed a $65,000 fine on his company and a $10,000 personal fine. But
either punishment is too extreme, the Libertarian Party says.
law that could put people in jail for gently moving some frogs is a load of bull
... bullfrogs, that is," said the party's press secretary, George Getz. "There's
no way you can kiss this frog of a law and turn it into a
prince." Unfortunately, red-legged frogs aren't the only species the
federal government likes better than people, noted Getz.
guise of protecting endangered species, federal bureaucrats are now giving
special treatment to:
* Flies: After the federal government
designated the Delhi Sands fly an endangered species, San Bernardino County,
California had to spend $10 million to build a special 10-acre "preserve" for
buzzing bugs. In 1999, the Interior Department demanded an additional
2,200 acres be set aside for the fly -- land that cost more than $200
* Angry grizzly bears: In 1993, the Environmental
Agency banned an Alaskan pepper-spray called BearGuard that
people used to deter attacking bears. The product, similar to pepper sprays that
can be legally used against human muggers, is irritating but not harmful.
Despite the fact that two people in Alaska had been killed by bears the previous
year -- and although the EPA admits the spray is safe enough to eat -- it was
banned under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide
* Rats: The federal Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS)
77,000 acres in Riverside, California as a "rat preserve" to
the kangaroo rat. Homeowners were threatened with $100,000 fines if
they cleared brush from around their properties, since it might inconvenience
the rodents. As a result, dozens of homes burned to the ground in 1993 after the
piles of dry brush caught on fire.
* Theoretical birds: The FWS
told 75-year-old Margaret Rector
of Texas that she could not develop her
property because the golden-cheeked warbler "might" one day alight on it. The
bird, an endangered species, had never actually been seen on Rector's property
-- but the fact that it could, theoretically, one day visit her land was enough
to qualify it as "suitable habitat." The ruling caused her property to drop in
value by 95%.
What do all these examples have in
"Thanks to federal regulations, rats, bugs, and frogs now
have more rights than the people who own property in this country," said Getz.
"This proves once again that the federal government is one strange animal -- and
the frog police are the strangest species of all."
Sent to J.A.I.L. by
John Morgan Duty II, (WA. State)
We wonder what would happen if one of them there
rare frogs ate one of them there rare flies for survival? Don't forget to get
your federal taxes in there. (D-Day is Monday!) They need 'em to do more of
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