Federal Interference

Feds blocking efforts by Arizona town to repair water system

Mexican spotted owl /
• December 4, 2012 12:09 pm


A Tombstone, Ariz., lawsuit against the federal government over the right to repair its water system will be argued in the Ninth Circuit today.

According to a Tuesday report on "Fox and Friends," the U.S. Forest Service has prevented the town from repairing its own water line because it could harm the habitat of the Mexican spotted owl.

Tombstone lost its water source in a wildfire in 2011 and despite, as host Steve Doocy put it, there being boulders "the size of Volkswagens there," the town could not use heavy equipment to get in and fix the water source, affecting its supply for drinking and fire trucks.

"You just can’t make this stuff up," said Darcy Olsen, president and CEO of the Goldwater Institute, which is arguing the case on behalf of Tombstone.

"This is an unbelievable situation in Arizona," she said. "It's a declared state of emergency. These pipe springs have been melted, they've been wrapped around trees like spaghetti because of the monsoons and the people of Tombstone only have access to three out of 25 springs so they don't even have a two-day water supply down there. So it's imperative that the Feds get out of the way and let the people repair those pipelines."

"These ecological extremists are everywhere, and what they are forgetting in this situation is that these pipe lines have co-existed with these animals for over 100 years, as long as the pipe lines have been there."

Olsen said she simply wanted the courts to enforce the 10th Amendment of the Constitution, citing the example of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal being held up by the federal government in the state's efforts to protect shore lines after the 2010 BP oil spill disaster.

"No one wants to destroy the habitat, and of course the people want to protect the forest as well," she said. "That's our forest. I think that that's the federal government throwing up the usual blockades. All we are asking the court here is to enforce the 10th amendment, that states and municipalities have the right to protect the public health and safety, particularly in states of emergency like this."

Published under: Arizona, Federal Bureaucracy