Posthaste Facts on the Environment #12

Species Law is The Grinch That Stole Christmas

Produced December 1995

A young family learns that Christmas may be for the birds.

First, thousands of jobs in northwestern United States were lost due to logging restrictions imposed to protect the Northern Spotted Owl. Now, Mexican Spotted Owl and Northern Goshawk recovery efforts have permanently cut off the supply of timber to loggers in the small town of Freedonia, Arizona.

Despite the loss of 250+ jobs that families depend on, the U.S. Forest Service has mandated that the Kaibab Forest be preserved for the birds. The Mexican Spotted Owl and the Northern Goshawk are listed as "threatened" species under the terms of the Endangered Species Act, and therefore the habitat of the birds -- the trees -- is protected by law.

Young couples like Mr. and Mrs. Martin Spendlove depended on the local timber industry to feed, clothe, and provide a Christmas for their three children -- a seven-month-old baby boy, a five-year-old daughter, and a nine-year-old son. "I've found a temporary job doing road work, but even that won't get my family through the holidays. First snow, and that job's a goner too. Santa Claus is gonna be much thinner around the waist and in the wallet this Christmas," said Martin Spendlove, who worked for the Kaibab Sawmill for nine years before it was forced to close.

Source: Mr. Martin Spendlove, Freedonia Mayor Brent Mackelprang, and Councilwoman Joy Jordan


Posthaste Facts on the Environment #12, published by The National Center for Public Policy Research, 501 Capitol Court, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002, 202/543-4110, Fax (202) 543-5975, E-Mail [email protected], Web http://www.nationalcenter.org. For more information about Posthaste #12 contact Bob Adams at 202/543-4110 or [email protected]

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