- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 31, 2002

A few unarmed bureaucrats at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) recently managed to do what 60 years ago, a huge Japanese fleet consisting of four carriers, five battleships, eight heavy cruisers, 19 destroyers, hundreds of airplanes and numerous other ships could not kick Americans off Midway Island.
Not that the bureaucrats were hell-bent on imperial conquest. Rather, they were motivated by the desire to protect the atoll's caves and aquatic animals.
As reported first by Audrey Hudson of The Washington Times, the "extreme" environmental demands of FWS agents were enough to ground Midway's only airline, the Midway Phoenix Corp. The company will also abandon a resort it owns on Midway, thus turning Midway Island into the Gilligan variant by shutting down the island's hotel service, power-plant service and food supply.
FWS agents routinely closed off beaches that they thought seals would visit. Those seals wouldn't find much shade there though, since FWS agents systemically poisoned the ironwood trees that the Navy planted for that purpose. They also insisted street signs be cut from 12 feet to four feet to protect low-flying zeros, birds that is. They denied veterans permission to set up a marble monument, fearing it would pose an avian "strike hazard" and they blocked the erection of a flagpole honoring the island as a national wildlife sanctuary, er, national monument.
FWS agents even ignored the requests of the Midway veterans who had planned on meeting on the island to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the battle this June. Instead, those dauntless sailors and airmen will probably be forced to give up their hard-won ground and move the ceremonies to the Hawaiian islands.
As a consequence, Midway has been transformed from a national monument into a de facto private petting zoo for FWS agents. This would be far funnier if it weren't so serious. Midway should be treated as a national historical treasure, not a seal sanctuary. However, if FWS agents actually manage to get their priorities right on this one, it will be a true miracle at Midway.


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