Washington, D.C. Andrew Wheeler, acting head of the U S Environmental Protection Agency, announced today that the controversial but nearly extinct Milpitas Gopher has been added to the endangered species list. The listing drew blistering objections from developers who are planning residential subdivisions and industrial parks in the only remaining open land adjacent to San Francisco Bay.
"The Milpitas Gopher is the only remaining rodent species with seven toes on its left feet, and because of this unique feature, once common on now extinct gopher species, we find it our duty to protect the last remaining mammal with this characteristic," Wheeler said.
Bay Area developers are outraged. "What this means is that we must leave this pristine section of the Bay Area vacant because provisions of the endangered species act will not permit us to plow, level, or in any way obstruct the activities of this rat, which is what the Milpitas Gopher really is. The "gopher" was put on this list to get back at California for ousting a half dozen Republican congressmen in the midterm elections."
The town of Milpitas is now known primarily as the last refuge of its namesake gopher. Sixty years ago, the Bay Area joke was that the baseballs Giants were going to build their ball park there, and be known as the Milpitas Gophers.