Property Rights and Fish Habitatby Maxine Kiesling
Capital Press, April 29, 2005
When will we stop being mesmerized by fish and fish habitat?
Even though the Biringers (Capital Press April 22, 2005) voluntarily sold their 325- acre Marysville, Wash., farm to the government for breaching the farm’Äôs dikes ’Äúso the area can return to its natural state as wetlands,’Äù it’Äôs still a pity that good farmland will be flooded to benefit fish. Especially when, unlike other species, the fish are being ’Äúrestored’Äù not just to know they’Äôre ’Äúthere,’Äù but also to be eventually killed as a human food source, even as the farm is being destroyed as a different human food source.
Replace fish-defeating culverts, alleviate fish-passage problems at dams, plant shade trees along streams where effective while allowing buffer weeds to be eliminated, but leave private food-producing land alone and let the government preserve to its heart’Äôs content our public land while allowing access and recreation and grazing where traditional and done right.
And someday soon take a public poll on just how much of an ’Äúicon’Äù the fish is as compared to property rights and farms.
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