Extreme environmentalists are demanding private land owners in Louisiana turn their land into a resort for the rare, almost non-existent Mississippi Gopher Frog. The extremists, with the help of the government, are using the Endangered Species Act to make their claim.
Bet you never heard of the Mississippi Gopher Frog aka Dusky Gopher Frog. No bother, almost no one has. Apparently, there aren’t many of them left. Once they’re gone, nothing will happen. It won’t matter at all. They have no effect on anything and are basically irrelevant. Some extremists have made baseless claims about these frogs one day curing cancer.
Nonetheless, federal officials have decided their cause is worth stealing thousands of acres of private property to create a frog resort.
Private land owners in Mississippi Gopher Frog territory, as defined by environmental extremists, are suing to keep them from burning down their trees each year.
This case began several years ago and we wrote about it in 2014. The quest to save the meaningless frog was extended beyond Mississippi into Louisiana where the frog has not been seen, not even one of these frogs has been seen, since 1967.
The landowners are headed for the Supreme Court. They were willing to sell their land to these extremists, but they won’t pay up. They want to destroy the land and pay nothing for it.
In June, 2012, when the Fish & Wildlife designated “critical habitat” for the Dusky Gopher Frog, regulators stretched the Endangered Species Act beyond any previous interpretation by including 1,544 acres of private property in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, that is manifestly not suitable for the frog.
In fact, the government – the Fish & Wildlife Service (F&W) – itself admits as much. The designation of this forested area is based on pure speculation. F&W hopes the land might someday be managed by private parties for the species’ conservation. However, the only way to make this area suitable for a habitat is through controlled burns and revegetation, which F&W admits it cannot mandate on private land. They most likely hope their bullying and impossible regulations will force the owners off the land.
The major landowner hoped to develop the property, which extreme environmentalists are opposed to.
Pacific Legal Foundation is representing the property owners in challenging this unjustified federal targeting of their land. Under the law, critical habitat must actually contain the physical and biological features essential to the conservation of the species.
If property can be designated even though it isn’t usable as habitat, there are no limits on the amount or location of private land that can be roped off by federal decree. Regulators can impose restrictions on anyone’s property, anywhere — merely by claiming it could someday, in some speculative way, be used for species recovery.
The US Fish & Wildlife Service, complicit with The Center for Biological Diversity [these guys are very dangerous and extreme], and the Gulf Restoration Project, and other extremist environmental organizations, orchestrated a massive land grab of 6,477 acres, mostly in Mississippi, but 1500 privately-owned acres are in Louisiana. Most of the land has been with one family for over a 100 years.
The government is doing it for 100 frogs that have no value and do nothing for the environment and who only exist in a pond in Mississippi.