Kyl 'distorted facts' in tale of farmer's woes

Editor:

What's with Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl? Why does he have to keep making stuff up in his crusade against environmental laws? In a recent press release, Kyl said, "A farmer was required to cease all economic activity on his 1,000 acres because one Red-cockaded Woodpecker was found."

What bunk. The fact is the "farmer" in question never even sought a permit to log about 1,200 acres out of his 8,000-acre spread which harbored the woodpeckers. Instead, he sued us (the government) for allegedly decreasing the value of his landčalthough he continued to log, burn, gather wood, rake pine straw and host hunters. The landowner could have entered into an agreement to protect his right to harvest timber, modify his harvest to minimize the impact on the woodpecker, or improve woodpecker habitat elsewhere to make up for the areas he destroyed.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has considered thousands of projects that impact endangered speciesčand approved 99.9 percent of them with little or no change. Even when the impact was sufficient to require a formal consultation, the regulations almost never completely blocked a project, and required major changes in only two or three percent of those cases.

This is just another case in which opponents of the Endangered Species Act willfully distort the facts to manufacture a disingenuous horror story to justify gutting the environmental law.

It's hard to understand why a U.S. Senator would deceive the public. Could it be the rush of contributions from miners, loggers, ranchers, and other subsidized industries?

It's time Sen. Kyl started leveling with the public and quit conjuring bureaucratic bogeymen from twisted facts, imaginary anecdotes and phony sound bites.

Evelyn Beattie

UA Alumna

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