If you needed another reason to confirm the government is a wasteland of corruption, here’s two.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated almost 6,500 acres of land in 2012 as “critical habitat” belonging to an endangered species known as the dusky gopher frog. About 1,500 acres of that land is privately owned in Louisiana. But here’s the kicker: not a single dusky gopher frog has been seen on that land for decades. So, the landowners sued the government, stating the obvious: How can you designate land to protect something that doesn’t live there? But federal court judges ruled against them, and when the property owners appealed, they refused to hear the case a second time.

These Endangered Species Acts (ESA) have caused a lot of problems for landowners across America by taking away their rightful ownership of property for environmental causes that many times don’t even exist. Lawyers like the ones bringing this case against the government say, “As a matter of law and logic, non-habitat can never be ‘critical habitat.’” And so they are moving on to the U.S. Supreme Court to give these people back the right to their land.

It’s been proven over and over again that ESA designations end up doing more harm than good. The Daily Caller spoke with and ESA expert who told them:

“Ironically, this decision will most likely end up harming the dusky gopher frog and many other endangered and at-risk species by causing more landowners take actions to avoid the Endangered Species Act’s draconian penalties,” Seasholes told TheDCNF.

Seasholes said landowners have taken drastic actions to keep endangered species off their lands, “including ‘scorched earth’ (destroying habitat), ‘shoot, shovel and shut-up’ (killing species), going silent, denying researchers and government personnel access to their land, and refusing to become involved in species conservation efforts.”

The law of unintended consequences at work.

Meanwhile, as a little frog no one has seen gets the full protection of the federal government, there’s an area of neglect that is putting lives of humans at risk yet, doesn’t seem as important as the amphibian.

“America’s highway network is woefully underperforming. It is outdated, overused, underfunded and in desperate need of modernization,” said Alison Premo Black of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association.

Currently, there are 56,000 bridges around the country which aren’t structurally sound but carry 185 million vehicles across per day. A report in USA Today states that over one in four bridges — that’s 173,919 — are at least 50 years old and have never undergone reconstruction. Thirteen thousand bridges need to be replaced, widened, or receive major work.

Despite a gas tax which funds highway improvements, nothing is being done to remedy this dangerous problem. According to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chaso, the department spends $10 billion more every year than it collects and yet, hasn’t fixed a single bridge.

So, to recap: the federal government is going out of its way to protect an elusive frog, but letting us risk life and limb on roadways they’ve neglected for five decades.

Instapundit sums it up nicely: “We have far more government than we need, and a hell of a lot less than we pay for.”

About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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