Saturday, October 21, 2006

Open Letter to Brent Plater

Originally posted 5/18/06

Dear Mr. Plater, staff attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity,

As an environmentalist, I was very heartened to hear about your efforts to establish protected status for the Hawaiian picture-wing flies, all 12 species of them, including the ones with the dots on the wings. I share your hearty enthusiasm for nature and am glad to see someone else out there understands the importance and contribution of the noble picture-wings. All 12 species. Especially the ones with the dots.

While I value your work, I’d like to issue a concern of mine. Respectfully, I have been quite disheartened by your group’s inconsistency. Notably, your failure to recognize and fight for another endangered species much closer to your Arizona home – the Sierra Madre Striped Jackelope.

This beautiful and important creature – a jackrabbit with antlers like an antelope - lives on the west slope of Mount Wilson and can often be found hiding in rock formations and small caves, digging into the ground for roots with its antlers. At least, once upon a time, it could. These days, the “Striped Jack”, as the locals call it, are practically impossible to find.

Unlike its better known cousin, the Sierra Madre Jackelope, the Striped Jackelope has a 2 cm stripe down its flank. While some might find such a small difference inconsequential, its significance is far reaching. For instance, when the Striped Jack is running at full bore, one can see a black stripe amongst what is common with the Sierra Madre Jackelope, a gray blur with accents of tan antlers.

I’m sure it is plain to see that the Sierra Madre Striped Jackelope is easily the most important living creature in the entire world. At last count, the number left of these species is down to a paltry 132. Their loss would be an incalculable loss to all of mankind. Many believe the Striped Jack is the key for cures for cancer, syphilis, tuberculosis, AIDS, baldness, and death itself.

Both of us at the Sierra Madre Striped Jackelope Conservation Society have tried to force the EPA through litigation to place the Striped Jack on the protected list, but our efforts came to a harsh end when the judge denied our case, claiming that such a creature “does not exist.” Can you imagine the nerve? Activist judges.

This is why we wish you to join us. Your victory with the Hawaiian picture-wings, all 12 species, including the ones with the dots, have given us hope. We have great respect for what you do, because we believe in a time of global warming that threatens to destroy our very civilization as we know it, it’s crucial that someone force the Environmental Protection Agency to put their time, effort, and money on what’s really important – the Hawaiian picture-wing flies. All 12 species. Even the ones with the dots.

We hope that soon the same can be said for the Sierra Madre Striped Jackelope.


- The Noble Idiot


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