The Most Expensive Animal Alive? 66,666.666 acres for one owl

by Glynn A. Burkhardt
Pima County Coalition For Multiple Use


Pima County, AZ - One Million two hundred thousand acres of land closed to development for the sake of 18 Pygmy Owls. Yes, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service supported by a few radical green environmental groups proposes this huge acreage to be set aside for 18 Pygmy Owls.

These same people will claim the lands will only be “use restricted”. Not true. Take a look at what happened in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and other states including Arizona. Once the lands were declared critical habitat for the Mexican Spotted Owl, Black Footed Marmot, Fairy Shrimp, Lupine (loco weed), Milk Vetch (milk weed) or you name it. All land development was halted by legal and illegal actions taken by the government and green organizations. No federal land trades or sales allowed, No Aggregate or Timber sales, No Mining or Gravel operations, No new Livestock leases or Farming leases, No new Housing Developments, Roads, Schools, Pipelines or Power lines, and in many places no Hiking, Camping or Hunting. Entire forests are now closed to human entry without very limited "Special Use Permits" to which the green organizations have the inside track and first rights.

Look long and hard to the ruthlessness the Government and Green organizations used in Klamath Falls to dry up and break the farmers, and in Florida, the act of flooding hundreds of peoples homes in housing developments to drive them out of the "Everglades", thus causing the ongoing Saw Grass Rebellion! Look to the careless destruction of the U.S. Timber industry. These same government Officials and Radical Green organizations are presently telling the Phoenix Metro area they will not have their full water supply due to the 7 “endangered Fly Catchers” (birds) that moved onto the mud flats normally submerged by Roosevelt lake, now dry due to the recent drought. Yep, Can’t fill the lake.

Why would business want to remain here? This latest Pygmy Owl action is exceptionally outrageous, onerous and pointedly punitive towards the Housing and Land Developers, Ranchers and Farmers, Aggregate, Gravel and Mining companies, Campers and Hunters as well as the Tax Paying Citizenry who had the audacity to complain, write opposition or interfere in the radical greens former plans to stop growth. This increase in acreage is a direct slap in the face to the people of Pima County and Arizona (731.000 acres increased to 1,200,000 acres) and a toothless warning not to interfere again.

One Million two hundred thousand acres for 18 Pygmy Owls, a tiny bird that weighs an average of 2.2 ounces .......unbelievable....66,666.666 (sixty six thousand six hundred and sixty six point six six six) acres per owl.....even more shocking when you calculate the 10 year monetary losses the Critical Habitat designation of 1.2 million acres will cause. If we calculate the 10 year monetary cost and losses on the proposed critical habitat lands at just $50 per acre, per year. The de-valuation of private lands will be $500 per acre (far below the losses in the Everglades, Klamath Falls, the Pacific Northwest, Etc). The loss to our school system in Arizona from the halted sales and leases of State Trust lands at a low-ball figure of $500 per acre. Then figure the loss of revenue and productivity from Bureau of Land Management lands from normal sales, school land donations, ranching, mining, aggregate, sand and gravel, and recreationional uses such as camping, hiking and hunting at an easy to reach number of $500 per acre. We have a total loss of revenue and waste of $600,000,000 (six hundred million dollars). Divided by 18 owls …… $33,333,330.00 (thirty three million three hundred thirty three thousand three hundred and thirty dollars) per Pygmy Owl. That’s what 66,666.666 acres per owl at an average cost or loss of a mere $500 per acre which comes out to each owl costing you $33,333,330.00 dollars.

Since when are these mice with wings worth over $33 million dollars each or $15,151,513.00 (Fifteen million one hundred fifty one thousand five hundred and thirteen dollars) per ounce.

This irresponsible waste of your tax monies by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management is exactly what will continue, followed closely by cooperation from the State of Arizona Land department and the cash strapped Arizona State Government along with the Pima County Government if the citizens and industries in Arizona don't oppose these spendthrift activities. Contact the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service today at: Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2321 W. Royal Palm Road, Suite 103, Phoenix, Ariz., 85021-4951 or fax them at 602-242-2513. Their phone number is

Sincerely, Glynn A. Burkhardt
Pima County Coalition For Multiple Use

For information contact:

Glynn A. Burkhardt
9100 E. Indian Hills Rd.
Tucson, Arizona 85749

Phone: 520-749-1393


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