Landowner says desert tortoise, federal government left him bankrupt

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 24, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    The little guys saved St George from another developers blight such as the Cottonwood Mall etc.

  • Bryan1991 American Fork, UT
    Sept. 24, 2013 9:21 a.m.

    RG Buena Vista, VA
    Govt is inefficient, wasteful, and not very kind to individuals. This is the same govt. that wants to take over our health care. Watch out.
    our health care which is by every measure worse then all countries with national health care.

    Anyway, if people stopped trying to wipe every species of animal to extinction, then maybe the feds wouldnt be forced to pass endangered protection laws. A few people shouldnt be allowed to ruin this planet for the rest of us.

  • Spoc Ogden, UT
    Sept. 23, 2013 11:32 p.m.

    The Canadian Lynx has a similar story. They live for the most part north of the 49th parallel, only venturing very far south during times of famine. Their primary food source, the snowshoe rabbit, rises and falls on a 10 year cycle and so does the lynx population. They will venture south when forced to subsist on other small game but they do not like it, seldom breed, and return as soon as they can.

    Our government was so eager to establish residency for these transients that when they set up scratching posts to verify the presence in Washington and Oregon of these nocturnal felines, they got caught falsifying the record with lynx fur they had collected from captive lynx in a zoo.

    Across the border in Canada they are plentiful and in no real danger. Only we call them endangered and try to force them to live on a reservation in Colorado.

  • Albert Saint George, UT
    Sept. 23, 2013 8:31 p.m.

    jingoist joe is right on with his comments. Many the STG folks had tortoises as pets growing up. They acquired them from the desert between Littlefield AZ and SoCal while they were going to and from Disneyland. When they became tired of these pets, they took them to the red hill area above STG. In 1990 they noticed some of these tortoises had a respiratory problem and soon it was determined they were "endangered" Land was acquired, rules set in place, money was allocated, and so on. All for a creature that is probably not indigenous to this area. It has been a classic government fiasco watching this all go down and be put in place. Sometimes it's just sickening to watch big government in action and see the people that it adversely affects.

  • jingoist joe Orem, UT
    Sept. 23, 2013 8:12 p.m.

    A non native species such as the desert tortoise should not be protected. The Endangered Species Act is to protect species, that are indigenous to areas, that are threatened. As a child my Father and his friends, 1930's and 40's, all had "turtles" as pets in St.George. These were brought to town from the West side of Utah hill, Nevada, by their cattlemen Fathers. Once the family tired of the pet they were turned lose into the surrounding foothills and from these pets sprouted the local tortoise population. It appears that the tortoises are invasive and under the law they should be eradicated. A non native species that has been illegally introduced into new habitat is unacceptable. If this is not so then why the big concern over the invasive mussels in our lakes? The Burbot in Flaming Gorge? And many more. According to the "old timers" there were no native tortoises in Washington County.

  • justamacguy Manti, UT
    Sept. 23, 2013 8:01 p.m.

    If the desert tortoise is really worth all that protection. Then the land it is supposedly inhabiting should be paid for at market by the government. Strange that you don't see any environmental organizations stepping up to the plate to help compensate this man and prove the value of the tortoise. SUWA chooses to spend it's money every night during the news hour with warm fuzzy commercials instead of putting that money on the ground.

    The other interesting fact about the fish & wildlife service is that since they put the tortoise on the endangered list have been removing cattle, limiting access and activities in the desert and still the numbers are either unchanged or in decline.

    Maybe we should think about humans first and real conservation measures for the tortoise rather than just kicking everybody off the land.

  • Bob Pomeroy Bisbee, AZ
    Sept. 23, 2013 7:53 p.m.

    Every time one blames others, does not take responsibility for their role in what happens, they make of themselves more of a cypher -acted upon rather than acting. Everytime that is done, the blamer digs themselves into an increasingly deepening hole. In this case, a speculator's hope for riches didn't pan out.

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    Sept. 23, 2013 5:16 p.m.

    "Then along came the desert tortoise..."

    Man, I hate when a native species "comes along" and ruins a single human's ability to make a lot of money by putting a non-essential, entertainment-focused, water-wasting golf course in the middle of the desert. Some animals can be so selfish.

  • Love skiing Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 23, 2013 5:15 p.m.

    All species have a right to exist. This world is not for man alone.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Sept. 23, 2013 5:09 p.m.

    Those dang money-grubbing tortoises.

  • Instereo Eureka, UT
    Sept. 23, 2013 4:43 p.m.

    Diversification, that's the word of the day.

    We are best served when we diversify our investments. We also are a stronger society when we have diversification not only with different types of people but with our environment.

    While I feel bad for Jim and his loss of land and money, he may have been better served if he had diversified his investments with different types of property and made this a project instead of his life's work.

    Redneck Lefty also brought up a good point about when we only choose one party and how that hurts us.

    Finally it's easy to blame the Federal Government or even the County Government (the article seemed to place blame in both places), respecting diversity takes compromise. It always seems hard to understand the greater need when government does what it does when you're the one it is doing it to.

  • podunk utah DRAPER, UT
    Sept. 23, 2013 4:38 p.m.

    you wanna a little cheese with that whine.. oh non alcoholic whine of course... pretty sad when you buy worthless desert rocks and then cry about it to anyone who will listen.. just another Utah scam job

  • Fitz Murray, UT
    Sept. 23, 2013 4:18 p.m.

    I feel bad for Jim and I don't. He deserves to be treated better than he has been. Tim Anderson is an outstanding attorney (I have worked with both Jim Doyle and Tim Anderson on Deseret Tortoise issues). Jim can, at times, be his own worst enemy. Tim has worked hard to get what Jim is entitled to, but there is the quandary. While his land was clearly taken when the Feds stopped all development on his 2,440 acres to "save" the desert tortoise, the Feds, according to some of the court cases, don't really care. This is clearly a taking under the 5th Amendment to the Constitution, but the feds don't think that this Amendment applies to them and they do not know what good faith is. The Endangered Species Act, when it comes to taking private land away from a citizen, is terribly flawed and always has been.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Sept. 23, 2013 4:07 p.m.

    Govt is inefficient, wasteful, and not very kind to individuals. This is the same govt. that wants to take over our health care. Watch out.

  • Downtime Saint George, UT
    Sept. 23, 2013 3:45 p.m.

    Hi. We are the federal government; and we are here to help you...go bankrupt!

  • RedneckLefty St. George, UT
    Sept. 23, 2013 3:26 p.m.

    A few points:

    1) This article seems poorly researched and leaves a lot of questions unanswered. It's very unclear what he was supposed to get, or why he didn't.

    2) Also, sorry, but after the real estate bubble, it's hard to feel sorrier for a So. Utah real estate developer than for anybody else hitting rough times.

    3) So. Utah has done a terrible job of leveraging their proximity to wilderness for tourism. Instead they've just added more subdivisions and strip malls. Look, for example, at Washington City's rejection of the Boilers nature center project.

    4) This is what happens when there's no political diversity in a whole region. If Republicans know they'll never lose your vote, they don't have to help you out to keep it. And if Democrats know they'll never win your vote, they have no reason to help you either, and have no problem doing things that will make you angry. (See Clinton and the Grand Staircase...)

  • trekker Salt Lake, UT
    Sept. 23, 2013 3:16 p.m.

    Can't they relocate the desert tortoise somewhere off his land? There is plenty of more desert for it to be placed on.