Only days after the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear lost its place on the endangered species list, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke today removed the American Bald Eagle from the Fish and Wildlife Service's list. Environmentalists immediately file notice of intent to sue the secretary to prevent official enforcement of the delisting.
Citing the benefits of federal protection during the past decades and statistics showing an increase in the bird's population, Zinke noted that the wildlife service would benefit financially by issuing permits to trophy hunters who desire to shoot an eagle. While no fee has yet been established for a permit, sources inside the service indicate that a charge of $50,000 or $100,000 would probably be the going rate.
"We want to assure that only serious, well-heeled hunters go after America's honored symbol," Zinke is reported to have told President Donald Trump, who was cleaning his shotgun.
"The success of laws protecting the Bald Eagle," Zinke said, "has resulted in a significant increase in their number. That also has had a debilitating impact on the various prey they eat. Eagle over population has become a threat to other species. The time has come to end that protection."
Rumors abound that Zinke will next open up Whooping Cranes and California Condors to hunters.
Ralph E. Shaffer is professor emeritus of history at Cal Poly Pomona. email@example.com