CATS: Environmental Extremists

Just because hackers, gougers, radical conservatives, and wise-use whackos claim to see “environmental extremists” behind every Coke machine, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. And CATS (not the kind that stink up my barn, but equally clueless about wildlife) provides a superb example. The herbicides that BLM uses are essential to protect wildlife habitat from invasive exotics such as yellow star thistle. Along the upper Snake River I inspected two million acres of former big-game habitat that had been forever ruined by environmental extremists who got an eight-year injunction on federal herbicide use. All the feds needed to do was spray 100 acres of roadsides to keep the weeds out. For eight years they could not, thanks to the injunction. Now it’s too late. The infestation is too big to treat. Groups like CATS have zero understanding of and zero concern for native ecosystems. And the pesticides they rail against are short-lived and safe, posing virtually no threat to humans or non-target organisms. These pesticides may not be the perfect tools to protect and restore native fish and native plant communities; but, in most cases, they are the ONLY tools. CATS was also behind the long delay and near scuttling of Paiute cutthroat recovery—the first-ever project to restore a federally listed species to its ENTIRE native range. 2 Responses to “CATS: Environmental Extremists” Anne Says: June 23rd, 2006 at 12:48 pm I looked up the CATS website and it was a severe challenge to my cardiac system, especially since I’ve spent the last few days cutting and treating invasive brush and weeds on an ecological restoration project and am sore all over. I’d bet good money that most members of this organization have NEVER actually worked on invasive plant control. It’s easy to pontificate about “mechanical and cultural control” when you aren’t out there in the hot sun working yourself. I and many friends can testify that it’s hard enough to work on invasives on a few dozen acres, and on thousands of acres, it’s a nightmare. No one enjoys using herbicide, but without the judicious use of herbicide, the situation would go from horribly difficult to impossible. As for the CATS trout campaign, which involved only Rotenone, it’s an ecological obscenity. There’s a difference between an environmentalist and a chemophobe, and these people are NOT environmentalists in my book. I hope they stay far away from my state, and I deeply sympathize with the hard-working plant and animal restorationists in California, some of whom I’ve met, who have to put up with them. Ted Williams Says: June 23rd, 2006 at 1:01 pm Thanks Anne: Unfortunately, these idiots are being assisted in their successful efforts to block restoration of imperiled native fish by, of all people, ANGLERS—selfish, ecologically illiterate ones for whom a fish is fish, regardless of origin or genetic content. See post below.