Friday, June 18, 2010

Court buries Palouse worm's bid for endangered-species list

The giant Palouse earthworm isn't that big, doesn't spit and doesn't smell like lilies, and now a federal court has decided it is not time to grant the worm endangered-species protection. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this week affirmed a lower-court ruling that found there is not enough evidence to prove the little-seen worm is threatened. Justices found that virtually all information about the creature is limited and inconclusive. In April, University of Idaho officials announced that living specimens of the worm were captured for the first time in two decades. While the 9th Circuit decision involved a petition filed several years ago, environmentalists have since filed a new petition seeking endangered-species protection. "We think that under the new (Obama) administration, that petition will get a better hearing than the last one did," said Noah Greenwald, endangered-species program director for the Center for Biological Diversity in Portland...more

I was curious. So I wandered on over to the Hat Creek Cattle Company and Livery Emporium and asked Gus McCrae and Capt. Woodrow Call if, in all their travels, they had ever seen the giant worm.

Yes, they had, and I detected a definite dislike of the critter. Why, I asked the pair, do you feel that way about the giant worm? "Cuz", Gus said, "they killed every damn jackalope in the West."

Now you know.

No comments: