Missing Lynx - John Stossel reports
This Friday's ABC News "Give Me a Break" is about
the "missing" lynx.
Aug. 1, 2002 - The Canada lynx is getting some people very
excited. An environmental group burned down a ski lodge in Vail
because they thought it MIGHT threaten the lynx.
There are tens of thousands of lynx throughout North America,
the bureaucrats weren't sure there were any in southern
they commissioned a million-dollar study to find out.
They placed pieces of carpet soaked with a catnip mixture on
a lynx would then rub up against them and leave some fur. Sure
samples the biologists sent to the lab contained hairs from a
This is a frightening prospect for people who like using the
Finding a threatened species can set in motion a series of
events that can
wreck your life if you're a rancher or farmer or just someone
who wants to
drive in the woods. It's a reason lots of people in southern
are scared of the government's environmental police.
As land-rights activist Mike Paulson put it, "We
basically say if you
have an endangered species in your area, we are going to take
livelihood away, we're going to destroy your communities, and
to make it very difficult for your families to survive."
That didn't happen this time, because it turned out the
biologist were caught cheating! The lynx hair sent to the
lab came from a
lynx that lives in a cage, miles away from where the biologists
they found the hair. How could this happen?
Jim Beers, a Fish and Wildlife biologist for 31 years, says his
changed from promoting science to pushing what some believe is
environmentalism. Now he says the agency is "staffed with
radical activists" who will twist facts until they get the
want -- and what they really want is to ban people from forests.
"Once you establish that there are any lynx in the
area," Beers says, "the
areas in between suddenly become very urgent to not allow road
built, not allow the ski slopes to come in ... not allow grazing
ultimately, not to let you or I drive our wives and kids in for
The biologists do have an explanation; they weren't trying to
say, they were just testing the labs to make sure they could
identify lynx fur.
Beers replies: "That's the same as you telling me
that you caught them
walking out of the bank with money and they said, 'Oh, we were
if the system works here, we were going to return it
Were the biologists fired for cheating? No. How
often do governments
fire anyone? They were "verbally counseled," but
they are still on the
job. It makes me wonder what other parts of their science
we don't know
the truth about.
If we now have the extremists giving orders with the power of
everyone's freedom is at risk.
Give me a break.
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