5.12.2006

Proposal for Increasing Federal Wetland Acreage in 2007

Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton announced recently that the Bush White House has increased the total acreage of U.S. wetlands by approximately 191,800 acres. This has been accomplished in large part by redefining the criteria of being a “wetland” to include, among other things, water hazards in golf courses.


In the fifty years that the U.S. government has been tracking, and attempting to preserve, wetlands, not once has anyone been able to hold steady, much less increase, the acreage of wetlands. Until now. President George W. Bush has accomplished this incredible goal in spite of nay-saying environmentalists (who, it is worth noting, have not increased the net acreage of protected wetlands at all. Losers.) while at the same time having a job that I can only describe as being ‘hard work.’ Kudos. Kudos!

The trick, it turns out, is not to waste time trying to “save” dirty, old, asymmetrical wetlands that have a bunch of – forgive the indelicacy – excrement in them, much as the love-sick will attempt to “save” a shiftless sponge. In a testimony to positive thinking, the Bush administration simply found new, better wetlands, some of which help the economy by providing tax breaks to the wealthy so they drop everything and rush out to buy products and services and create jobs for the poor.

Thus inspired, I submit the following for inclusion as federally protected wetlands:

1. The beach (high-tide).
I can’t believe we’ve missed this one for so long. When the tide is in the amount of shallow water increases around forty feet laterally, and for what can only be described as “a really long way”. If there is any doubt that this fails to meet the criteria for wetland, I submit a quick visual appraisal – I believe you’ll notice, oh what are those? Birds? Sitting? Yes, birds! Tons of them!
Approximate acreage gained: 15 million acres (estimate based on sense of bigness of the beach combined with equivalent sense of 15 million being a very big number).

2. Indoor swimming pools (privately owned, only).
Now we’re talking environment, economy and property values. Trifecta! The birds stop and rest in a private pool, protected from the elements and predators. The pools are heated, clean and there may even be a Jacuzzi to take the autumnal migration chill off. The envy of the wetland-hopping crowd. Extra tax breaks will be afforded to indoor pool rooms who keep a large-screen plasma television tuned to Animal Planet at least 50.1% of the time. And, oh, what the hell, we’ll make pool tables tax deductible for having the word “pool” in them, thus increasing Wetland awareness.
Approximate acreage gained: 78,000 acres.

3. My backyard.
My dog is something of a digger. Ordinarily I fill these holes in with mulch and profanity but, inspired by the administration, I would be willing, with proper government funding, to fill them with water. I would also allow a natural environment to develop by stopping all mowing and pruning. This promise would extend to any property turned over to me – eminent domain? – like my neighbors lot. I think this would make a terrific wetland, and am quite sure it would provide a very real economic boost to at least one person.
Approximate acreage gained: Amount to be determined, depending on administration commitment, and dog’s persistence in digging.

4. Mars.
Follow me here. Global warming is definitely happening. But, as study after study has shown (well…one. Part of one.), it definitely isn’t our fault. This means there must be some other factor. An external factor. Logically, if our planet is warming, and it isn’t our fault, all the planets must be warming. Mars has those ice caps, which are then, logically, going to melt any day now. Wetlands ahoy! Admittedly, Mars is not on the regular migratory route for many birds, but is not extinction the price of failure to adapt?
Approximate acreage gained: 1 gajillion.

5. The God-damned clogged sink in the bathroom.
Because that shallow body of water ain’t going anywhere soon.
Approximate acreage gained: 1 (rounded to the nearest acre).

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