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Leftist protesters decry Obama's war on Nature

Friday, March 09, 2012 by: J. D. Heyes
Tags: Obama, war on Nature, endangered animals

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(NaturalNews) It's tough being president, especially when Americans of your political persuasion and philosophy turn against you. Welcome to another election year.

The anti-Occupy Wall Street movement, or Occupy Occupy DC, as they have labeled themselves - held a rally recently to protest what they said is "the Obama Administration's new policy to kill the barred owl in deference to the spotted owl in the Pacific Northwest," according to a statement the group released.

"After decades of sidelining the once-thriving American timber industry and taking the food out of the mouths of loggers' children to allegedly protect the spotted owl, the green bureaucracy is still not happy and has declared war on the environment," David Almasi, the group's director, said in the release. "One owl is being sacrificed for another. Where is the respect for the laws of nature? The one thing we do know from this travesty is that the Endangered Species Act is out-of-control and desperately needs to be reformed."

Almasi, who also serves as director of the National Center for Public Policy Research, a group that promotes itself as "a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today's public policy problems," accused the Obama administration, and the president in particular, of "arrogance."

'Unsustainable' regulations

"Obama has picked winners and losers when it comes to bailouts, handouts and where we can get our energy. Now he's playing God by favoring one animal over another. What arrogance," he said. "Virtually shutting down the timber industry in the Pacific Northwest didn't work, so now the plan is to shut down the barred owl. This is unreasonable, and the answer is to rethink our government's unsustainable endangered species regulations."

The protest seems to have been sparked by an earlier Associated Press (AP) article which said that the administration had made a decision "to shoot barred owls, a rival bird that has shoved its smaller cousin aside."

According to the report, "the plan is the latest government attempt to protect the northern spotted owl, the meek, one-pound bird that sparked an epic battle over logging in the Pacific Northwest two decades ago."

Then, the federal government set aside millions of acres, banning logging and other commercial activities, for preservation of the spotted owl. The effort hasn't worked, however; the owl's population has continued to decline. There are now 40 percent fewer birds than there was 25 years ago, when the preservation plan was put into place.

History of violence

"After more than two decades of setting aside millions of acres of woodland and dramatically scaling back the forestry industry in Washington, Oregon and California, the amount of spotted owls - which are designated as endangered under the Endangered Species Act - has declined by approximately 40 percent," said the http://www.nationalcenter.org/PR-ESA_Killing_Owls030112.html " target="_blank">Occupy Occupy DC release. As a result, "[h]undreds of barred owls may be executed by shotgun under the federal directive."

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is defending the plan, calling it "a science-based approach to forestry that restores the health of our lands and wildlife and supports jobs and revenue for local communities." He said by killing some of the barred owls and doing a better job of managing forests, "officials can give communities, foresters and land managers in three states important tools to promote healthier and more productive forests," the AP reported.

The killing of one species to "protect" another is not a new practice by the federal government. In fact, the Department of Agriculture kills thousands of them annually - mostly predators like coyotes - to protect livestock. But lots of other animals - bears, raccoons, wolves - are also killed.

All to better "manage" the nation's forests.

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