My letter today deals with the proposed critical habitat designation for jaguars in Arizona.
I was personally involved in the AZ and NM Jaguar Conservation Team for over 10 years.
My committee wrote the education material for the jaguar. We found in our research that there never was a viable population of jaguars in either Arizona or New Mexico.
What is a viable population? A female and male jaguar that reproduce year after year and are consistently sighted in an area. A picture of a jaguar's tail caught by a trail camera is not proof that a jaguar lives in an area.
If I was in Mr. Bettle's biology class at DHS and said that I thought jaguars lived in Cochise County...I would have been sent to the corner and received an F in Biology.
When a species is listed as endangered the radical environmentalists want them bred in captivity then released on federal lands. This will mean that soon everyone that enjoys our federal lands will no longer be able to use them. This will cost JOBS!!
The radicals want over 50 million acres set aside for jaguars in both states. Right now the US. Fish and Wildlife is proposing only 80,000 acres, but you can bet your booty they'll be sued by these groups until they set aside more and more and more!!
Every listing costs the tax payer $2 million just to get the program started. After the listing that the costs escalate. How can our nation afford more? This kind o f frivolous spending will eventually destroy our nation and local economies. It is unsustainable!!
The present day endangered species rules and regulations are becoming so ridiculous they will eventually endanger camping, cabin ownership in the forest, fishing, hiking, hunting and bird watching.
Cabin owners pay for the use of their cabin and also a personal tax to the county. Hunters pay a tax on their equipment and licenses. Ranchers pay federal grazing fees. Twenty-five percent of that goes to the county which is used to support schools and roads, 25 percent goes to the local forest service and 50 percent goes into the federal coffers. Did you know that until 1980 the forest service was not even a line item on the federal budget because the agency was self supporting with timber, mining, cattle grazing, cabin fees and recreation?
Please call and ask your county supervisors to object, ask your city leaders to object!! Listing Critical Habitat for jaguars that don't exist in Arizona is extremely ridiculous!!
All these endangered species are unaffordable when people are out of work and children go hungry!!