Does Anyone Have a Flyswatter? - California city trying to provide land for 'flyways' for the benefit of endangered flies
Colton, California, has the dubious honor of being the location of an infestation of the endangered Dehli Sands flower-loving fly.
The city is trying to provide land for "flyways" the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service says are necessary for the protection and well-being of the flies.
The city has tried for seven years to provide habitat for the flies, but private landowners don't want to negotiate.
"They are in denial or incredulous that some of their land isn't worth market value because of the presence of the fly," said City Manager, Daryl Parrish.
Colton City officials have resorted to requesting the use of $425,000 in federal poverty funds to destroy portions of some roads to make room for the insects and provide funds for their upkeep.
It all seems an exercise in futility since biologists don't even know how many flies exist because they only emerge from their underground haunts once a year to mate and then die.
The Dehli has been a fly in Colton's ointment since it was declared endangered in 1993.
Its presence has cost the city an estimated $300 million in lost investments and 700 to 1,000 jobs because companies do not want to jump through ridiculous environmental hoops for a fly.
Protection of the fly has cost taxpayers dearly, too.
San Bernardino County was forced to move the location of the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center 250 feet at a cost of $3 million to avoid disturbing alleged fly habitat.
Two years ago, when someone thought he had seen a handful of the flies where the city was planning to build a $12 million baseball park, the city had to find a different location, which cost taxpayers another $1.2 million.
New twist in fight over fly - Colton, CA wants to use anti-poverty funds to create and maintain habitat for an insect.
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
COLTON - Most cities use community development block grants to construct
But the Colton City Council wants to use $452,000 in federal poverty
The plan to rip up streets to create insect "flyways" and
Safeguarding the shrinking breeding grounds of the only fly to receive
The 1½-inch-long winged insect emerges from sandy soils for
a few days every
The destruction of the fly's habitat can trigger the extinction of
His advocacy propelled the Delhi Sands flower-loving fly to the endangered
Fish and Wildlife, the federal agency charged with protecting endangered
Colton feels squeeze
Developers and officials in Ontario, Fontana, Rialto and Mira Loma
But the pressure from Fish and Wildlife to conserve land is especially
For seven years, the city has tried to work with Fish and Wildlife
"They are in denial or incredulous that some of their land isn't
Colton decided this year to go it alone, scraping up what little
And scrape they will. Officials want to spend federal dollars to
rip up and
The corridors, or "flyways," would connect larger habitat
An environmentalist called the flyways a meaningless stab at conservation.
"If land around it is not protected, the flyways wouldn't have
If Fish and Wildlife approves Colton's plan, a four-acre parcel southeast
The plan would also allow the city to expand a public cemetery by
In exchange, the city would cede 18 acres for fly habitat.
The 18 acres - 10 from another section of the cemetery and eight from closed roads - is a miserly offer by Fish and Wildlife standards.
The agency typically asks for three or more acres of preserve for
City lawyers are still preparing the plan to submit to Fish and Wildlife.
But the plan is raising eyebrows with a county official whose job
it is to
David Larsen, a county compliance officer, said that the Board of
Colton got the board's OK in January to use the federal funds to
Expanding economic activity is a permitted use for the grants. Though
Colton Assistant City Manager Al Holliman said the city is now backing
The area's history offers some explanation why Colton is saddled
Colton, historically a railroad center, lagged behind neighboring
Like the last player standing in a game of musical chairs, Colton
The cost to taxpayers soon began to mount. San Bernardino County
The sighting of a handful of flies two years ago required Colton
to find a
City crews are also prohibited from cleaning blighted land in Colton
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml]