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Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Add me to the list of those who think this plan is a dumb idea:

Lions stalking deer in the stubble of a Nebraska corn field. Elephants trumpeting across Colorado's high plains. Cheetah slouching through the West Texas scrub.

Prominent ecologists are floating an audacious plan that sounds like a "Jumanji" sequel -- transplant African wildlife to the Great Plains of North America.

The authors contend it could help save Africa's poster species from extinction, where protection is spotty and habitat is vanishing.

They also believe the relocated animals could restore biodiversity on this continent to a condition closer to what nature was like before humans overran the landscape.

Yes, how dare us humans "overrun the landscape". If at this point common sense isn't enough to convince you, read on:

Scientists point to Australia, which was overrun by rabbits and poisonous cane toads after misguided species relocations.

"It is not restoration to introduce animals that were never here," said University of Washington anthropologist Donald K. Grayson. "Why introduce Old World camels and lions when there are North American species that could benefit from the same kind of effort?"

Still not convinced? Keep reading:

Given the continuing political struggle over the reintroduction of wolves in the rural West, others wonder how African lions would be at home on the range.

"How many calves or lambs would it take to feed a family of lions for a month?" said Steve Pilcher, executive vice president of the Montana Stockgrowers Association. "We sort of know what it takes for wolves, but something tells me we would be in a whole new ballgame."

All at taxpayers expense, no doubt.


The eco-power brokers have come to regard flyover country as their own private nature preserve. On the Great Lakes most of the shoreline is privately owned, while many of the remaining "public" beaches have been roped off to preserve the habitat of the Piping Plover, a bird that apparently never nests on private land. The local wisdom is that this is a ploy to keep the riff-raff away from the vacation homes of the elite.
Meanwhile, our neighbor lost a cow and calf to cougars....

Well intentioned, no doubt, but I agree, not too bright.

If we want to restore habitat in the Great Plains then it should be the one that's native to North America.

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