Houston We’ve Got a Problem – Too Few Toads!

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toad

The Houston Toad, he owns more property than most Americans

If you are not from Houston Texas, you may not have heard about the Houston Toad. If you are from Balstrop County Texas or anywhere nearby, you have, and if you live in Balstrop County, you might not have control over your own private property thanks to the toad.

The government controls the private property in 124,000 acres (193.75 sq. miles) of known and potential Houston toad habitat within the county and is attempting to expand their control outward, all for the sake of this “endangered” toad.

The environmentalists, who don’t like human development, claim the threat to this “endangered species” is first and foremost – habitat loss. They are also worried about automobiles, predators, pesticides and drought (climate change). They work hand-in-glove with the government to protect this toad.

They have subscribed nearly magical powers to the toad and have made the absurd claim that these toads might one day hold the cure for heart ailments and nervous disorders.

The toads are reclusive, probably because they are phantom toads, not contributing to anything.

People are devoted to them nonetheless. One veterinarian performed surgery on a toad with cancer and it headlined the news. Houston is very serious about saving their toads.

The toad people have backup toads in case they should go extinct. The Houston Zoo has a Houston Toad Program. The Zoo serves as an “ark” for the endangered amphibians. It keeps a genetically diverse population of Houston Toads in captivity so it can maintain the species, even if every last wild toad is wiped out.

Thank God! I can sleep better tonight.

Environmental groups are bullying residents of Balstrop County to follow the government’s mandates to protect the toad and hope to expand their control outward to other counties.

They want the general public to think they are working with the people of Balstrop County but that isn’t what is happening. They don’t let property owners do much of anything with their own property. The government is in control, not the private home owners.

Check out the land reserved for the toads:

Houston Toad area

All of the shaded areas belong to the toad.

There is a FAQ on this link but we couldn’t resist going through a few on this post.

The government will give you tax breaks and grants if you cooperate and maintain the toad’s property, but if you relinquish your responsibilities for some reason, they will charge you five years of back taxes.

Oh, and it’s a perpetual responsibility. Anyone who inherits your land gets to inherit the toad obligations.

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) makes it unlawful for a person to “take” a listed animal without a permit.  “Take” is defined as “to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect or attempt to engage in any such conduct.”

And don’t look at one cross-eyed either!

Don’t try building a house in these here parts!  You can’t even cut down a tree without the government’s permission.

One question on the FAQ: My property is currently undeveloped, but I plan to build on it in the future.  Can I designate a future homesite location in the Wildlife Conservation Easement?

The answer is “No.  Bastrop County adopted a policy in 2010 that a homesite area cannot be set aside in a Wildlife Conservation Easement.”

You can’t build on your own land!

If you in any way violate the law, check out what happens: “Violators of the Endangered Species Act are subject to fines of up to $100,000 and one year’s imprisonment. Organizations found in violation may be fined up to $200,000. Fish, wildlife, plants, and vehicles and equipment used in violations may be subject to forfeiture.”

I’m hungry, I think I’ll make some frog legs for dinner.  Bon Appétit!

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