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That headline is outrageously provocative. The Heritage Foundation likes animals just fine, with a little barbecue sauce.

Hate? and wants dead?

Hardly!

I'm as cycling enthiastic as anybody, but I can see their point: there isn't enough $$ to go around for everybody, and they value 1) cutting spending and 2) other projects more. That's their perogative. But to make the leap to animal hating monsters is an assault on good journalism.

As I mentioned on another post, the TE money for bicycling spent in Arlington/Alexandria Fairfax is a mixed bag. Went to the Four Mile bridge project, and also a map for the new Civil War trail. +1 for the bridge, not so much for trail map.

Leaving that aside, look at three other categories:

# Buying scenic or historic easements and sites;
# Tourist and welcome centers; and
# Landscaping and scenic beautification.

You know who enjoys scenic views and welcome centers? Red state families with kids. In fact we've all enjoyed them.

I'd much rather have a targeted program for bicycle funding. Something like TIGER? Or where it is tied into goals. But we don't live in a perfect world, and highway rest stops and welcome centers are pretty nice too.

There is some logic to the Heritage Foundation, if not consistency. The problem with its position is that in cherry-picking programs to de-fund, it invariably recommends de-funding programs that do not fit into its ideological framework, rather than a fiscal position. If one really has a goal of trimming spending, one has more credibility if one accpets that one's own pet programs deserve commensurate reduction.

@Cephas,

Okay, so they hate people who will die in traffic accidents when they hit alligators crossing the road. Better?

It's true, I doubt the Heritage foundation "hates" animals. They just don't care about them, or want to pay to protect them. Animals are inconsequential to them. Basically, their world is divided into A) things that make profits for corporations and B) everything else. They just want A to be as large as possible and B to be as small as possible.

Heritage and GM, hand in hand in preventing social funding for non-car travel. True conservatives prefer a choice, rather than having the government decide that only one method of transport is available. Social subsidies only for cars, no choices for you and me, that's the Heritage plan.

This money is not a direct subsidy to rural white folk or plutocrats. Therefore--in the eyes of Heritage--it's a boondoggle.

the real issue is inadequate funding of the mobility system. (It's not just roads.) Since the HF would not then suggest, logically, increasing the gas tax, they are forced to take this other direction.

Maybe if Trek and other companies would start giving money to HF, in addition to the money they get from oil companies, they'd start "thinking and acting differently."

Probably not.

Cephas, allow me to explain.

1. The Heritage Foundation wishes the identified projects had not been built.
2. Without the identified projects, many more animals would be killed.

Therefore, using the transitive property - the Heritage Foundation wishes many more animals would be killed.

That's pretty elementary.

Now, proving they hate animals is a little more complicated so stick with me here.

It is a known fact that there are only five reasons to want something to be dead.

1. You hate it
2. You want to eat it
3. You stand to inherit money from it
4. It slept around on you after you told it you loved it
5. It is the lead singer of Men Without Hats

Starting from the bottom, we can eliminate 5, because I'm relatively certain the lead singer of Men Without Hats is some sort of mammal.

4 can be eliminated because salamandars are renowed for their chaste, moral living - hence their nickname as the "Mormon Reptile".

3 can be eliminated because none of these animals have pockets. If we were talking about kangaroos that would be different. Who hasn't looked at a kangaroo and thought "I bet that kangaroo has a big wad of a cash and a Will designating me as the sole beneficiery in his pocket"? But salamandars, turtles and alligators have no pockets and are easily swindled out of their money.

So that leaves 1 and 2. I guess I could have gone with the headline "Heritage Foundation hungers for roadkill salamandars" but that didn't have the zing I was looking for and seeemed only slightly insulting. So I went with 1.

In case you have not realized it, this whole comment - like the title of this post - is tongue-in-cheek.

I wonder how many HFers commute by bike.

Oboe, you forgot the army. Other than that you got it.

I'm so glad that a high percentage of commenters have voluntarily decided to disenfranchise by living in the district.

Transportation priorities are largely a local issue and the feds should keep out of it. I would hope the Heritage Foundation would be similarly opposed to highway earmarks from the feds.

BTW, are these animal tunnels actually effective at directing animals to use them?

I forgot, it seems the answer is yes.

In San Bernardino County, biologists have erected fences along State Route 58 to complement underpasses (culverts) that are being used by the threatened Desert Tortoise. Tortoise deaths on the highway declined by 93% during the first four years after the introduction of the fences, proving that even makeshift wildlife crossings (storm-drainage culverts in this case) have the ability to increase highway permeability and protect sensitive species (Chilson, 2003). Additionally, studies by Haas (2000) and Lyren (2001) report that underpasses in Orange, Riverside, and Los Angeles Counties have drawn significant use from a variety of species including bobcats, coyotes, gray fox, mule deer, and long-tailed weasels. These results could be extremely important for wildlife conservation efforts in the region's Puente Hills and Chino Hills links, which have been increasingly fragmented by road construction (Haas, 2000).

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