Originally published June 1 2013
Feds spend nearly half a million dollars to teach survival skills to sucker fish (while deriding human preppers)
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) In yet another creative use of your tax dollars, the federal government, via the Department of the Interior, plans to spend nearly $500,000 to teach survival skills to fish - all the while looking down the nose of American "preppers" who are teaching themselves survival techniques in an unstable world.
According to published reports, Interior officials will spend $472,150 to show Bonytail and Sucker fish how to stay alive when they are being hunted.
"The objective of the proposed project is to determine if training increases Bonytail and Razorback Sucker survival when exposed to predators," an abstract of the grant says.
What the...?"This proposal builds upon the 2012 Bureau of Reclamation assistance agreement with the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) tasked with investigating the potential for training Bonytail and Razorback Suckers to recognize and avoid predators," the abstract continues.
"One of the early conclusions of the prior work is that the schooling behavior of Bonytail may allow untrained fish to show improved survival because they recognize predator avoidance behaviors exhibited by trained individuals."
The funds were announced on Grants.gov on May 9, 2013. They are set for a June 22 activation, when they will be given to the Bureau of Reclamation, Lower Colorado Region. The two species of fish mentioned are typically found in the Colorado River.
"The grant abstract says that the funding is for the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program, and the Habitat Conservation Plan," CNSNews.com reports.
The half-million dollar project lists three "components" in the abstract:
-- Pond restoration
-- Intensive predator avoidance training and marking
-- Remote sensing of marked fish to access short-term post-training survival
From the abstract:
One of the early conclusions of the prior work is that the schooling behavior of Bonytail may allow untrained fish to show improved survival because they recognize predator avoidance behaviors exhibited by trained individuals. The project includes restoration of six ponds (mesocosms), which will be used to evaluate differences in the survival of Bonytail and Razorback Suckers following various levels of predator avoidance training.
The abstract says Interior will coordinate the effort wth "Valle Vista Golf Course (VVGC) in Kingman, Arizona, with whom AZGFD is establishing a long-term memorandum of agreement. The VVGC will provide a location for the points and access to the site for experimentation purposes."
Great. So this will be an ongoing breach of taxpayer confidence.
The list of government waste, fraud and abuse is extensiveCNSNews.com reported that no one from the grant section in charge of the project responded to calls for comment - but why would they, right? How could you possibly justify this abuse of taxpayer funds?
Is the project worthy? Well, we don't know because no one is saying why teaching Bonytail and Sucker fish how to stay alive is vital to Mankind, let alone the American taxpayer.
But then again, such overt government excess is legendary. Here are some of the most recent examples from 2011 (and this is just a very small list!):
-- That year, the Agriculture Department paid out some $28 million in inappropriate farm assistance;
-- According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's inspector general, the Conservation Research Program pays out tens of millions of dollars annually to farmers who don't farm portions of their land. The USDA miscalculated the soil rental rate - to the tune of $114 million.
-- The government paid an estimated $208 million worth of single-family direct housing loans to borrowers who had no history of dependable, stable income, poor credit or were not expected to be able to make their payments (sound familiar?).
-- The Labor Department's Jobs Corps has a history of trouble; the government could have saved taxpayers $118 million through better oversight of the program.
-- The Education Department sent $42.4 million to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, though the institution is not eligible to receive federal funds.
-- The VA plans to award an estimated $2.5 billion worth of contracts intended for veteran-owned small businesses to ineligible businesses from 2011 to 2015.
And on, and on.
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