The Mojave Desert Tortoise is listed by the federal government as a “threatened” species, which allows extreme environmentalists and their co-religionist government thugs to impose restrictions on land use by humans in Southern Nevada, supposedly to protect the tortoise’s delicate wild habitat.
Anyone not familiar with this particular exercise in lunacy might draw the conclusion that the tortoise prospers only in untouched arid desert, that upon sight of an approaching human or cow, let alone a human-generated dirt road or house or barn, the poor reptiles just roll over and shiver until they die of fright.
But anyone drawing that conclusion might be puzzled by the new Nevada state regulation set to take effect May 1, allowing owners of pet tortoises to keep only one such animal at a time.
Why? The Nevada Wildlife Commission, which adopted the regulation last month, says the problem is that when allowed to pair up the tortoises breed, and the last thing the government wants is any bigger population boom among this “threatened” species.
In recent years, researchers charged with accepting strays have found themselves so swamped — up to 1,000 new, unwanted tortoises each year — that the federal government’s Desert Tortoise Conservation Center at the south edge of town canceled its pickup service and stopped accepting new animals.
Leave aside for a moment NDOW’s backward and politically incorrect refusal to allow domestic partnerships between same-sex tortoise couples. The fundamental purpose of the Endangered Species Act, explains Nevada Department of Wildlife spokesman Doug Nielsen (in a rare attack of plain talk), is to preserve the ecosystems on which the species supposedly depends, not simply to boost animal’s numbers.
It couldn’t be much more clear. The tortoise is a mere cat’s paw. Should tortoise numbers “recover” (despite the government’s efforts to keep them from breeding, and also note the curious reluctance of the “species protectors” to tell us what the numerical goal is, so we’ll know when no more “protection” is needed), this gang will merely turn up some new “threatened” weed or bug to play the same development-blocking role.
The real agenda of those who seek to win “endangered” or “threatened” designations for species including the tortoise has little to do with the weeds, bugs, and reptiles supposedly to be “saved,” and everything to do with rolling back and blocking productive, wealth-creating new use of vacant land by humankind.
The truth is, a suburban backyard is the favorite habitat of the tortoise — the habitat in which they prosper best — second only to the nearest golf course. The encroachments of mankind on the desert have not “threatened” the tortoise, which early explorers actually considered extinct, since in the days before ranchers arrived to develop springs and tanks, the reptiles were so rare that all the explorers ever found were old shells.
In fact, the arrival of European-based civilization has triggered a tortoise population explosion.
It would make about as much sense to block human beings from developing more of the arid Mojave Desert, in an effort to protect the rare and threatened pigeon.