[Taxacom] Conservation (was: Frontline program)

Kenneth Kinman kennethkinman at webtv.net
Thu Nov 4 22:20:31 CDT 2010

Hi Robin,
       "Potatogate", I really like that one.  Seems to reflect the
sneakiness of government officials trying to do it without any public
comment at all.  Luckily a lot of people are more interested in fields
of wildlife than a monotenous monoculture of crops (and lots of those
potatoes would most likely just end up as french fries or other products
that increasingly fatten the waistlines of too many overly-sedentary
North Americans).      
       Better to go out looking at burrowing owls and ferruginous hawks
(or just going out for a walk) than sitting at home playing computer
games or watching a lot of corporate television and their commercials
(often mindlessly munching on highly-processed junk food that is so
expensive that one can only conclude that it must be highly addictive to
attract so much consumption and commercialism profiting from it).  A big
thumbs up to San Francisco for taking on so-called "Happy Meals".           
      Anyway, this 6,500 hectares (16,000 acres) of short-grass prairie
in Alberta might not only be able to accomodate present wildlife like
burrowing owls, ferruginous hawks, etc., but perhaps also species which
have been extirpated from ALL of Alberta, such as black-footed ferrets
(the most endangered mammal in North America) and even prairie dogs
(which actually also have a value in a growing pet market here and
      By the way, yet another judge in Kansas in October ruled in favor
of ranchers in Logan County Kansas who are trying to protect
reintroduced black-footed ferrets from that county's attempts to poison
prairie dogs on private property which the ferrets, burrowing owls,
ferruginous hawks, and many other species depend upon for survival.  A
majority of politicians in the state Legislature have consistently
failed to overturn an antiquate law that allows such poisoning on
private land (and even forces the private owners to pay the bill), but
luckily some more enlightened judges from the independent judicial
branch have stepped in to protect these ranchers who want to preserve an
ecosystem that has disappeared elsewhere in Kansas.  Thank goodness for
checks and balances between the three branches of government (which
sometimes side with the little guy against capitalistic excess and
obsession with human greed and profits at any price).      
       --------Ken Kinman                                   
Robin Leech wrote:         
     Unless politicians are on side, taxonomists will not be receiving
money.  It is as simple as that.  Politicians, and I will use this word
very carefully, USUALLY respond to public pressures. 
In Alberta, there were some 6500 hectares of native, virgin shortgrass
prairie for sale for potato farming. This has been called "potatogate"
here.  The sale was to have taken place on 22 October. 
The public and professional reactions to this were enormous, and earlier
this week, there was an announcement that the buyer had withdrawn his
He might or may reapply when he thinks the pressure is gone, but that is
another issue. 

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