Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Team Obama's Double Standard when it comes to the Endangered Species Laws

The federal government is not shy about prosecuting those who violate threatened and endangered species laws. But under a new Obama administration policy, wind farm operators are getting 30-year permits to kill protected species.
Killed by Permit
The government fined marine biologist Nancy Black $12,000 and sentenced her to three years probation for feeding a whale in Monterey Bay. 
Just last month, US Fish and Wildlife cited 26-year- old tree trimmer Ernesto Pulido for violating the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act for disturbing a nest of herons. Pulido was hired by the U.S. Postal Service to rid their parking lot in Oakland, Calif. of the birds and the droppings they left behind. 
"It's a violation of federal law," said conservationist Lisa Owens Viani. "Nesting birds (herons) are protected under federal law."
Killed by Permit
Viani arrived at the scene May 3 to find several adult herons circling the trees and five baby herons hiding under a postal truck. She took them to a wildlife rehabilitation center for blood work, fluids and feeding. 
Pulido, who grew up in rural Mexico, visited the birds and voluntarily paid for their rehabilitation costs. Nevertheless, wildlife officials threatened to prosecute and fine him. On Thursday they relented, dropping the charges.
Killed by Permit
Avid New York City birdwatcher Lincoln Karim's experience was even worse. Karim knows the law: To touch a protected bird-- even a dead one-- you need a permit. But Karim found a dead red-tailed hawk in Central Park on a Sunday. He called animal control to pick up the carcass. When no one responded, he put the bird in a plastic bag, took it home and kept it in the refrigerator so it would not get eaten by predators. 
"If I left it on that lawn, it was going to be picked up and taken up by a raccoon or a dog or something," he said.
Killed by Permit
Suspecting the bird had been poisoned, Karim turned it in Monday morning for an autopsy. 
"When I handed it over, they arrested me," he said. "It's not nice getting handcuffed -- especially when you know deep inside you're not a criminal.” 
Killed by Permit
Karim was charged with illegal possession of a raptor. Though his charges were eventually dismissed, marine biologist Black wasn't so lucky. The U.S. Attorney's Office, on behalf of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, gave Black three years probation and fined her $12,000 for feeding a whale in Monterey Bay. 
All three violated federal wildlife laws. Yet contrast their treatment to that of the wind industry.
Of course if you're a member of Team Obama's Protected Violaters, you get a Pass .. A 30 YEAR PERMIT to Kill.

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