A Small Town in Nevada Strikes Back Against The EPA

Jillian Bandes
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Posted: Nov 11, 2010 9:20 AM
NPR's latest analysis on the fate of the Amargosa toad includes long descriptions of toad-counting, bridge-building, and community development, all designed to increase the population of the amphibian in Beatty, Nevada -- population, 1,154 .

Halfway in, NPR tells us why.
[Rancher David Spicer] is doing all this in part because he really, really does not like the Endangered Species Act.
In part? Lets look at Spicer's quote:
Nobody trusts the government anymore. Nobody wants to work with the government. The government always wants to take something from you, and they don't look at this as any different, you know?
I think a better way of putting it would've been that he believes this in whole. The NPR announcer explains:
Spicer feared the government would tell him he couldn't raise cattle or ride off-road vehicles on his own property. So he helped start a group called STORM-OV. It stands for Saving Toads thru Off-Road Racing, Ranching and Mining in Oasis Valley.
Spicer explains again:
We want to keep it in our hands, where it's at a local level, where we can do things and be nimble. You know, you start to get restricted by bureaucracy and monstrous, litigious things that go on in the Endangered Species Act, and we're definitely not going to have any fun on our own ranches anymore.

Heaven help it if NPR could run with these themes a little more, or explain exactly how the EPA threatens this small town. But they don't. Instead, it's more sounds of toad-belches on their radio report, and interviews with environmentalists who think this toad could bring in tourists.

Why? Because toads apparently make people want to vacation in back country Nevada towns just a little bit more. That's right: Beatty, Nevada — 120 miles northwest of Las Vegas — should be just as concerned about tourism as it should about ranching.

Good job, NPR.