Northwest NEWS

August 9, 1999

Editorial

Elected officials are acting too much like doormats

   Modern Americans, including our elected officials who should lead the way, are too door-mattish.

   Woodinville officials could have led at least a minor charge by strongly objecting to Endangered Species Act over-enforcement at Woodinville's main intersection. Street work at the 140th NE and NE 175th intersection was held up because the required biological assessment found a potential impact on three endangered species of bats that "generally feed on bugs in very moist areas and in old trees," according to the July 26th Woodinville Weekly.

   Since there are neither moist areas nor old trees near that intersection, why didn't city officials object loudly, both in local press releases to all papers and in writing to elected legislators?

   It's such meek acceptance of our fate at the hands of the federal departments of Environmental Protection and Fish & Wildlife, and the state departments of Ecology and Fish & Wildlife, that is leading to ever more extreme interpretations by those agencies of the Endangered Species Act.

   Unquestioning acceptance of whatever government dishes out, no matter how costly or ridiculous, will eventually lead to not just the loss of most property rights, but also to the re-natured non-use of practically all land outside of designated urban areas. And to the escalation of construction costs and higher taxes within those designated urban areas, as illustrated in Woodinville by the bats and a couple-of-hundred-thousand-dollars cost increase for a left-turn pocket and walking path project at NE 160th and 124th NE. There, Fish & Wildlife is running up costs, even though the might-be affected stream is the Sammamish River a mile away.

   Let's all write our legislators in Olympia and D.C. to limit over-interpretation and enforcement of the Endangered Species Act.

Maxine Keesling, Woodinville