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Spotted Owl or Red Herring?

A recent CNN article on the ongoing dispute between historic Tombstone and the Feds begins like a Monty Python skit parodying Marlin Perkins’ Mutual of Omaha 1.

The six Forest Service rangers suddenly crouched, whispering, on their way up the rocky mountain trail. It was early Friday afternoon, the first day of the Tombstone Shovel Brigade, and the rangers were out in force, hiking to the spot where dozens of volunteers worked with picks and shovels to move and bury Tombstone’s makeshift water line.

Shhh! Look! Do you see it?

The rangers stopped in their tracks. Binoculars emerged from pockets, and fingers pointed to a stand of trees.

Actual Photo of Mexican Spotted OwlAnd there it was, a Mexican spotted owl, perched high in a pine tree. It was a male, the rangers said, with his back turned to the intruders. He scratched and preened. But mostly, the owl seemed to be watching the nest in a nearby sycamore tree where his mate tended to an owlet.

And then it ejected a pellet (because that’s how owls poop), and one of the rangers scrambled to retrieve it, triumphantly holding his prize aloft for his envious companions, before popping it in his mouth with a satisfying crunch. Between chomps, he explained in a hoarse whisper,

Owls eat rodents, digest all the nutrients and compress the bones and fur into pellets like this one.

He spat out a little bit of mouse fur and continued,

These pellets are rich in calcium, but they taste like sh**. But I’ll be the envy of all the rest of the rangers because of the rarity of the spotted owl. I mean, who wouldn’t want to eat a spotted owl pellet? It’s kinda like granola!

The combination of last year’s Monument Fire and seasonal monsoon rains damaged a 26 mile pipeline that has been bring water to the town since 1881. The town depends on this water for its very survival. But the Forest service has been searching for every possible excuse to deny access to make repairs. Enter the Spotted Owl.

Evidently the fire last year wasn’t enough to deter these pellet poopers from remaining in the area, but a few tractors would damage their psyche and cause irreparable harm. At least according to the Feds.

What is more important, owls or the people of Tombstone? James Upchurch, a Forest Service supervisor who oversees the wilderness, was asked in court earlier this year.

Upchurch responded that there was no easy answer, which left jaws dropping on Tombstone’s side of the courtroom.

“No easy answer?” Really? These people have eaten too many owl pellets.

1Ok, so maybe not all of this is from the CNN article.


6 comments

1 steve { 06.09.12 at 6:08 pm }
2 Michael E. Newton { 06.09.12 at 9:28 pm }

Sounds like more illegal immigrants causing problems. They should go back to Mexico!

In reality, aren’t these owls ‘invasive species’ that don’t belong?

[Reply]

Martin Reply:

Well said, sir.

[Reply]

3 Jeff Edelman { 06.10.12 at 11:20 pm }

I recall the incident of the Spotted Owl of the Great Northwest a few years ago. The scientist were saying to the lumberjacks, “You can’t cut down the old growth forest for the Spotted Owl will die-off.” Some time later, with the logging industry greatly curtailed and after the lumberjacks lost their jobs, it was revealed that the Spotted Owl’s habitat was not confined to old growth forest. The plight of the people who lost their jobs, their houses, their healthcare ( our benevolent government is very concerned about folk without heathcare) never received the attention as did the “certain doom” of the owl. These excuses contrived by the conspirators — the government, the “scientist”, the radical environmentalist (read communist and socialist), and the media– to destroy the lives of these people were (are in the case of the people of Tuscon) unconscionable, immoral and pure, unabashed evil. In the case of the lumber workers in the Northwest, the conspirators’ purpose was served. Wealth creation and liberty were destroyed. These are some really disturbed people and, as we can see, many of them can be found in the employ of the government. Sleep well, all.

[Reply]

Martin Reply:

These people are lost. They are proof that man has a fundamental need to worship something. In the absence of God, they create their own gods, just like the Children of Israel and the golden calf. In the modern case, they must worship nature, environmentalism, or some other cause. Never mind what the facts say.

[Reply]

4 Matthew { 06.17.12 at 7:05 pm }

That was fowl.

[Reply]

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