Click for audio Government Can Harm the Environment Too

For more than two decades the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has been doing damage to over 3,000 acres of natural wetlands in Barraga and Houghton counties in the Upper Peninsula.

This land, near the Sturgeon River, was a flood plain during the spring high-water season. It was an area of startling natural beauty that provided a home for black bears, bobcats, deer, northern pike and many other animals.

Then in 1975, bureaucrats decided to improve upon Mother Nature by attracting more migratory waterfowl to the area. Bulldozers diverted the Sturgeon River in several places, created nearly 13 miles of dikes, 11 hundred acres of artificial ponds, and cleared more than 300 acres of natural vegetation where a field of potholes now lies.

Unfortunately, the soil where new ponds were created is sandy and unable to support standing water. A series of large, unsightly pumps maintains a sufficiently high water level in the area. Frightened by the noisy pumps, the waterfowl the area was supposed to attract have migrated elsewhere.

So, remember—government can be just as blind to the environmental harm it causes as any private-sector polluter—and twice as dangerous, because it wields the force of law.

For the Mackinac Center, I'm Catherine Martin.