Cheat-Seeking Missles

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Quote Of The Day: Giant Earthworm Edition

"This worm is the stuff that legends and fairy tales are made of. What kid wouldn't want to play with a 3-foot-long, lily smelling, soft pink worm that spits?"
-- Worm supporter Steve Paulson

Thanks, Stevarino. I think I have a better understanding of why I'm not a whack-job environmentalist.

Paulson and others have petitioned the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to list the worm, called the Giant Palouse Earthworm (Driloleirus americanus), as endangered. Reports the ultra-green Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

The earthworm is native to the deep soils of the [heavily farmed] Palouse [region of Washington], which were built up by millions of years of volcanic ash and are some of the richest farmland on Earth. Little is known about the giant worms: how many there are, where they live, how they behave, or why they are so scarce.

The worm was first found in 1897, and the species has always been elusive. It can burrow down to 15 feet deep. There have been only three reported sightings since 1987.

The most recent was on May 27, 2005, when a graduate student from the University of Idaho, Yaniria Sanchez-de Leon, unearthed one specimen.

Hmm. Little is known about the worm, which can live far, far below the depth of a plow, so how do we know it's endagered? Could there be something else at play here?

Aye, and buried deep in the story, as deep as a Giant Palouse Earthworm, is this:

Locals are belatedly trying to save the last remnants of the undeveloped Palouse prairie, and the earthworm could play a major role in that.

"Listing the Giant Palouse Earthworm may be the only salvation for the Palouse Prairie," said O. Lynne Nelson, who signed the petition.

There you have it: Proof that greenies see ESA as a land use law, not a species law. Again and again, ESA is used to effect the greenie agenda of state ownership of property and of stopping development.

I certainly think it's fine that efforts be made to keep this lily-smellin' spit-hawkin' worm from going extinct -- it could be the cure for all cancers, dontcha know! -- but use the law as it was intended, not for your "I'm a Red, I'm a Green" agenda.

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