In December of 2014, a great friend of mine and a killer political blogger on Facebook, The Goomba, sent me a post he had done on the budget bill. People were digging out the weirdest parts of it, as we all knew that every piece was there for a reason. The inexplicable blocking of the Sage Grouse from the endangered species list was in a GOP rider attached to this budget bill that had to pass, the government was shut down until it was. He predicted the reason that this actually endangered native bird was targeted with uncanny accuracy long before the current uproar over the blocked hope for the survival of the species. Though many are saying the Fed decided not to add the sage grouse to the Endangered Species List just now, it was decided more than a year ago in a back-room deal. The block was based on a simple phrase “Severe economic consequences.”
Here is his post from Dec. 14th, 2014 (Reposted and edited with the author’s permission):
I may be way off base here, but I’m going to give this a shot. I’m going to do more research to back up my claim, but, I’m betting my eye teeth that I’m not too far off. If it smells like sh*t and talks like sh*t – it’s more than likely a GOP talking point.In a Rider added to the budget deal, a victory for the GOP, the bill would ban the Fish and Wildlife Service from adding the rare bird found in several Western states to the Endangered Species List. Republicans argue that adding the bird to the list “would have severe economic consequences on Western states and the nation’s efforts to become energy independent.” However, there’s also $15 million for the Bureau of Land Management to conserve other habitats.”Severe economic consequence?”
That’s sort of an odd term or phrase to hear when the discussion is about saving an animal from extinction.
So, I needed to know what was so important about this bird. My finding was there is nothing of importance, they are a normal grazing bird. They do not have any unique abilities that add to the eco-system. It’s just a bird, even though on the brink of extinction. It’s just a bird.
So, the question I then asked myself was “how did this little guy become a GOP victory?” I can’t imagine that the 2016 talking point is going to be, “Yeah – we did nothing and this bird died.” Yes, I understand that they allocated $15 million dollars to conserve other habitats.
There was my next red flag, their habitat. Why go out-of-the-way to add this rider to the budget but give up money? Could it have been a peace-offering? I think so, but to whom?
So, where does the Greater sage-grouse live? I’m glad you asked. A quick little google search gave me this:
“Sage grouse are linked to sagebrush ecosystems of western North America covering 11 western states: Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, South Dakota, and North Dakota, as well as the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.”
At first glance, I didn’t see much, except, that out of all these states listed three of them were in a larger bolder text. Oregon, Montana and Wyoming. Like a Tea Party member figuring out their new meth-pipe. The light bulb went off.
On top is the little guy in question. On the bottom is my shot in the dark. Which one have you seen before? Take note: when an animal is put on the ‘Endangered Species’ list, their habitat becomes federal protected property.
The Koch Brothers will have nothing of the like.
It appears his shot in the dark wasn’t off at all. With the North Dakota Oil Boom, and the still to be killed for good Keystone XL pipeline, needing the habitat to succeed, not to mention hundreds of ranchers on the government dole, the sage grouse could very well dwindle into extinction. All because of a Republican rider on a budget bill that had to be passed. Proof positive that capitalism — Republican for “greed” — untethered by law simply devours everything in its path. It leaves behind what all things do as a result of eating, a big steaming pile of “progress.”
Feature image via Wikimedia Commons