Hear David Boze every weekday at 6am on 770 KTTH
David Boze

Tiny animal, big threat to property owners

Earlier this week the federal U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided to list the tiny Mazama pocket gopher as protected under the Endangered Species Act.

But the Freedom Foundation's Trent England told David Boze on Friday about how that move endangers the rights of property owners, and makes them liable for obeying another federal law.

"We've been fighting this fight for years trying to help property owners down in Thurston County where the pocket gopher is just one more of the species that the really radical pro-regulatory environmental groups - they find species that are spread out, that are hard to count, and because they get these species listed, then they can lock up huge amounts of land," England told host David Boze on Friday.

The nonprofit group Center for Biological Diversity, a "conservation" group, sued the federal government to get the gopher listed. England said that the listing of the animal could prevent new development in areas where the gophers live, or even "lock up" existing property.

"It's insane," Boze said. "Not to mention the fact that when you hear the Mazama pocket gopher is being endangered, you think, ‘What, are there only a dozen of these little fellas left?' But then you find out there are various populations that are indistinguishable from the pocket gophers that are burrowing their little holes in that area."

"Once they go regulate the species then they can go out and say, ‘There's a gopher hole over there, it might be a pocket gopher;' now you have to draw a big circle around it and you can't do anything about that. We're talking about potentially 100 yards across the circle. This can completely lock up people's property," England said.

Neal McNamara, Writer, KTTH
Originally from the Northeast, Neal McNamara has worked as a news reporter for more than 10 years at newspapers across the U.S., landing most recently in Seattle.
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