Hey, I have a request for the USFWS.

That being the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Anyway, I have a request: can you let us know the name of the idiot who decided to fine an 11 year old Virginia girl $535 for saving a baby woodpecker? Particularly since said idiot decided that she couldn’t bear to confront such a potentially violent criminal without a Virginia state trooper in tow*? And after you release the name, can you guys fire that person? – I kid, I kid: like you’d not protect one of your own. Heck, scaring a kid probably got the aforementioned idiot extra points.

This one is going around: Mark Steyn (via Ace of Spades Headlines) is using it in relation to the not-really-related, but reasonable-enough-point that Barack Obama is an elitist, wasteful snob who loves the comfortable lifestyle associated with his job more than European royal families love the lifestyle associated with theirs. But the original story is quite bad enough on its own terms. What particularly bugs me about it? The girl was clearly trying to do what she was taught to do by her culture and her teachers: that is, be a steward to the environment, help out endangered species, repair the ‘damage’ done by Man’s encroachment on Nature, all that feel-good ecological stuff. And some of that is not, in fact, a bad thing for you to do.

Apparently, you just can’t do it where Fish & Wildlife can see.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: “…according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, “The citation was processed unintentionally,” and the agency apologized for “the clerical error.”” Note: the apology was not for “Geez, but our staffer totally flew off of the handle, exercised poor judgement, misappropriated resources, and generally made the rest of us look like a cross between Smokey the Bear and the East German Stasi.” Raise your hand if you’re surprised…

*This footnote is addressed to any random officials from the Commonwealth of Virginia who might be reading this post – or to their staff: there’s nothing stopping you fine folks from checking into this story on your own. After all, the USFWS dragged one of your people into this mess in the first place.