If someone sees an endangered animal about to eat an endangered plant, what should he or she do? Tom Grey
The appropriate response depends on who witnesses it and where this encounter occurs.
For instance, if tea party diehards see an endangered critter about to munch an endangered plant, they would first demand to see the animals birth certificate, then angrily criticize the plant for being a socialist for freeloading on sunlight and rain and then theyd drill for oil on the site.
The local liberals would go into high gear, first insisting that federal government immediately set aside a 1 million-acre protection zone.
Then theyd dig up the plant so it could be conserved in a botanic garden far away. That way city-dwelling donors and underprivileged youths could enjoy nature without actually being in it.
Meanwhile, idealistic volunteers would capture the animal with nets and tranquilizers, put a radio collar around its neck, tattoo an ID number in its ear, take blood samples and then issue a news release reminding the public that its a crime to harass wildlife.
Suppose a local womens group was there when the endangered animal took a chomp out of the endangered plant. What would happen?
First, the ladies would set a luncheon meeting with cocktails to establish a nonprofit-outreach-education-advocacy-mentoring support group. Their first fundraiser would be a wine tasting. Afterward, they would all talk about it at a networking brunch featuring mimosas.
Most Durangoans would never see an encounter between endangered wildlife and endangered plants. Theyre too busy working three jobs, which pay for the privilege of living in a natural playground that they now dont have time to enjoy despite the fact that recreating outside is the main reason they moved here in the first place.
On the other side of the economic spectrum, namely Durangos privileged trustafarian crowd, an ironic act of nature would have only one function: serve as a reminder that its time to take some additional medication obtained by law from a local wellness center.
Meanwhile, Fort Lewis College students would see an endangered species eating an endangered species and say, Dude ... like, thats totally sick.
Then theyd whip out their iPhones, take some shots and try to be the first to upload the scene to YouTube. Then theyd update their Facebook status and check for text messages.
If the endangered animal ate an endangered plant at Durango High School, the campus administrators would be forced to shut down the place for four days and sterilize the entire campus just in case flora and fauna carried toxic spores, fungus, molds, ticks, giardia, smallpox, bubonic plague, cholera, athletes foot or high levels of radiation.
Of course, if you asked local ranchers or old-timers what they should do if they saw an endangered species eating an endangered plant, youd likely get this response:
Whats the big deal? Ive seen a bunch of those animals on my property, but I aint telling where they are because I like them around. And those plants grow all over the place; Ive been protecting em for years now because I like them, too. So you folks have a nice day. Not to be rude, but I have to get back to my chores.
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Theres always a vacancy at the Mea Culpa Mailbag.
Last weeks column about local motels prompted our friend Josh Stephenson to comment on Action Lines disparaging remarks regarding a particular TV program.
So, OK, that was my granddaughter who wrote with the concern about the free rooms at the Siesta Motel. Her mother assures me that she is in Time Out, he writes.
But, now come on, its time for you to join her in a T ime Out. Whats up with calling The Beverly Hillbillies lowbrow and bad television? Its a classic! Yee-Dawgies!
Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 80301. You can request anonymity if you know that the theme song The Ballad of Jed Clampett reached No. 44 on the hit music charts in 1962.