Ah, Government Environmental Intervention

You can’t read this article without laughing at the idiocy of government intervention in the environment. And to think the government wants to play a role in global warming too. Pfft.

If the government can encourage the free market to take on an issue, we’re better off — as the Virginia side of Assateague Island shows.

The Maryland herd included 28 horses in 1968. But without predators or firefighters to bother them, the ponies multiplied: By 1994, there were 166, and managers were already worried the animals would eat the island bare.

First, birth control was tried. Starting in 1994, biologists with special rifles and a good deal of patience have tracked down female horses and shot them with contraceptive-filled darts. Each female horse is allowed to give birth to only one foal in her lifetime.

The program worked, but not as fast as managers hoped. Without the stress of repeated motherhood, female horses started living years longer than they previously had, which kept the numbers up.

“The population is still more than the island ecosystem can sustain,” said Carl Zimmerman, chief of resource management with the national seashore.

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Erick Erickson

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