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Re-establishing prairie chickens is worth the cost

Published: Saturday, May 31, 2014 1:15 a.m. CST

Normally, I am in Scott’s Reeder’s corner when he takes on wasteful spending [“Spending comes home to roost; Prairie chicken saga another fowl fiscal deed,” May 22], but not this time, for I don’t consider it wasteful. It is unfortunate when native species that were once abundant have to be reimported.

We humans have made it extremely difficult for most all wildlife. We destroy habitat with our farming practices, poison the good insects with the bad, and add a host of other problems into the mix.

Am I the only one who’s noticing what, I think, is a general decline in most all species that were once in abundance? About the only exception is the raccoon; I see them often lying by the roadside.

I recall that it wasn’t all that long ago that people could hardly avoid hitting a rabbit with their automobiles while driving in the evening hours. I very seldom see a rabbit lately.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to birds of late, because of a book I have recently read, “A Feathered River Across The Sky,” by Joel Greenberg. The book details how humans managed to destroy billions and cause extinction to the passenger pigeon, in a very short period of history. The last living one died, while in a zoo, in 1914.

Speaking of birds, I can remember during my earlier years spent in Polo, zillions of birds would roost in the trees in the early evening and were, by most standards, a nuisance. People would throw firecrackers and shoot up into the trees to try to dislodge them.

All wildlife is precious. So, I would urge caution when complaining of the expense to re-establish the prairie chicken or anything else, for that matter. Once these creatures of the wild are extinct, they are gone forever.

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