Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tortoises may halt Obama solar project, or an essay on turtle trailin'

The number of desert tortoises living in the path of the nation's first large-scale solar energy project on public land is proving to be more than expected. Since the BrightSource Energy Co. broke ground Oct. 8 in northeast San Bernardino County, wildlife biologists walking ahead of heavy construction equipment on a small portion of the project site have found 17 tortoises, according to a company consultant. Federal biologists say they are surprised by the early numbers, because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that 32 tortoises live in the entire 5.6-square-mile site. This estimate was used to support the conclusion that the development would not cause significant harm to the reptiles, a threatened species. Further environmental analysis may be required if tortoise numbers are far higher than expected -- possibly leading to delays or changes in the project...more

Can't you just see the money flying out of your pocket and into the hands of those wildlife biologists as they walk the tortoise trail? And just think of all the schoolin' they went through just so they could tromp around in the desert and look out for turtles.

It certainly doesn't require a wildlife biologist to ID turtles. Just hire some of the unemployed and give them a picture. "Hey buddy, take this picture and go walk about 20 yards in front of that D-9 Prius, and if you see one of these critters go to waving the picture in the air."

I hear that in a couple of weeks a lot of Democrats may be looking for work. They ought to be good at turtle trailin'.

One thing though: Don't hire any of those Census workers. They'll screw up the count for sure.

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