Outside Las Vegas is a facility that has served as the last line of defense for the beautiful desert tortoise — an animal forced near extinction by developers and sprawling suburbs. Tortoises are brought to the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center, which is largely supported by developer fees and federal support. Now, due to a lack of federal funding, the federal government plans to euthanize hundreds of the tortoises — animals added to the endangered species list in 1990. The cost? One million dollars a year. So our government continues to waste billions in Iraq and Afghanistan while exploring a new war in Syria, but we cannot support a $1 million budget that is so important to the preservation of this species. The Administration would prefer to deliver bags of money to Karzai, buy Russian aircraft that Afghans can’t fly or maintain, or build huge buildings to be then torn down unused. Of course, we have invaded their habitat, but it appears that they are not entitled to the years of upon ended reconstruction funding because they do not threaten to tortoise extremism around the world.
The facility will close in the coming months. They will start to put down arrivals in the fall. Bureau of Land Management spokesperson Hillerie Patton noted that, with fewer homes and developments being constructed, the tortoises will have to die: “With the money going down and more and more tortoises coming in, it never would have added up.” No it doesn’t. Congress and the White House needs billions to burn in Iraq and Afghanistan so environmental, educational, and scientific programs must go.
These magnificent creatures have roamed the Southwest for 200 million years. Where millions once dwelled in areas of Utah, California, Arizona and Nevada, no more than 100,000 tortoises remain. They can live 100 years, but that will no longer be the case for hundreds arriving at this government site for shelter.
Source: Washington Post