So, environmentalists want to list the bugs as endangered species.
Not because the Great Sand Dunes tiger beetle appears to be in any danger of extinction, but as a tool to keep people and farmers from getting water.
WildEarth Guardians is demanding the government spend a ton of money to count the beetles to back up their wild assertion by this fall, and it appears they went whining to Bruce Finley at the Denver Post that the study still hasn’t been scheduled.
Curious, because Finley also offers us this nugget from National Park Service biologist Fred Bunch, chief of natural resources at the dunes, who has observed the insects for 27 years.
“This species seems to be fairly robust,” Bunch said.
Environmentalists defeated plans decades ago to pump water from the San Luis Valley to the Front Range, and now they want to use the beetle to keep water from those living in the valley including residents.
Yet residential, agricultural and industrial development tapping of underground water in the San Luis Valley still presents threats because depleting that water could hurt creeks crucial for the beetle.
It seems folks there already came to a hard-pressed agreement on the water rights with farmers agreeing to limit use to protect the habitat and avoid lawsuits with Texas and New Mexico over the Rio Grande River flow.
But that’s not good enough for the WildEarth Guardians. They don’t care the bug is already being protected, they just want desperately to be relevant.