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How Much Does It Cost To Save a Squirrel?

ABC News reported last Thursday that Arizona “is spending $1.25 million to build bridges for endangered squirrels over a mountain road so they don't become roadkill and then monitor their health.” The news report adds:

“The Federal Highway Administration grant (that) will be used to build rope bridges over the lone road through the squirrels' habitat, according to Arizona Department of Transportation Community Relations Director Timothy Tait. The DOT plans to install 41 of the "canopy tunnel crossings" at a cost of $400,000.

“Another $160,000 will be spent on cameras to monitor the bridges, and the rest of the money will fund a project to monitor the rodents.”

The cost per squirrel came to $5,000. (emphasis added) However, after news reports, ABC News reported the following day, “Arizona abruptly canceled plans today to spend $1.25 million to build bridges for a colony of 250 squirrels.”

The city manager of a nearby town said people there were “bewildered” by the proposed spending. Seems more like the transportation officials in Arizona and the FHA who approved use of transportation funds to build “squirrel bridges” are the ones who are bewildered. Or perhaps the environmentalists who lobbied for such legislation, or the politicians who voted for the legislation are the ones who are bewildered? Or just confused?

HT Tax Foundation’s Tax Policy Blog.

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