Re: NANFA-- Why save the Devils Hole pupfish?

D. Martin Moore (
Wed, 6 Jun 2001 19:51:39 -0500

On 6 Jun 2001, at 8:49, Christopher Scharpf wrote:

Here is Rush's response:

> 1) Saving the Devils Hole pupfish means saving its water supply. The underground
> aquifer that feeds Devils Hole also serves the entire Ash Meadows desert
> community, which has the highest rate of endemism in America. Fishes, snails,
> plants, etc., almost all of them unique. Loosen protections on the pupfish,
> thereby allowing for unrestrained groundwater pumping, and the whole desert
> ecosystem begins to crumble. And for what? More cattle farms? Casinos? Gas 'n'
> gos?

If it comes to humans thirsting to death or saving the pupfish, then I
go with the humans. Or if it means doubling the price of beef, the
those fish need to die.
> 2) The National Science Foundation advocated saving the Devils Hole pupfish
> because it and its relatives thrive in extreme conditions, e.g., salty and hot
> water. Their extraordinary thermoregulatory system and kidney function can serve
> as useful biological models for human research on the human kidney -- and on
> survival in a seemingly hostile environment.

Of course they had to have a reason to "justify" their position. Or
are they seriously contemplating transplanting fish kidneys into
humans? So we can survive in salty and hot water, presumably?

> 3) The Devils Hole pupfish is an object of aesthetic beauty and a part of our
> natural heritage. Humans are a "saving" species. We like to save things that
> aren't always of immediate practical worth. Treasured works of art. Historic
> buildings. Ancient artifacts. Rare manuscripts. Family heirlooms. Why should
> species and their ecosystems be any different? Isn't the Devils Hole pupfish a
> greater, far more complex creation than, say, the Mona Lisa? Humans like to
> build museums and protect for generations the works of other humans. Why
> shouldn't we do it for the works of nature, too? Ultimately, which will be more
> important?

How can you compare them to the Mona Lisa when you aren't even
allowed to see the damn things? Devil's Hole is surrounded by
barbed wire, land mines, and machine gun nests!

> 4) We should save the Devils Hole pupfish -- and all species, for that matter --
> simply because there is no long-term imperative for *not* saving them.

Like having water for livestock or crops, you mean??

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