Thursday, September 15, 2005

Chipmunk Trapping

I recently had a chipmunk loose in a public building which is in my care (the building, not the chipmunk). It fell upon me to remove the creature before it caused harm to the building or more likely harm in the way of a heart attack to some unsuspecting visitor. With my mission clear in my mind I knew that I needed to find a "have-a-heart" trap, so I could trap the beast and release it back to the wild.

I did not have one personally and everyone I talked to had one, but at their home a great distance away. It was suggested that I call the state dept. of environmental conservation because they allow people to borrow one. I called and was informed that they no longer loan out traps and thus ended the conversation. After hanging up the phone I began to wonder if I requested the DEC to come and trap the chipmunk would they have? My guess is that they would have come under obligation of some state law that requires the trapping of wild animals if on private property. Thus rather than letting me use a trap they have they would have sent a very well paid civil servant to do a job that I would have done for free. To me this is absurd and points out that subsidiarity does not exist any longer in a huge government bureaucracy.

And now for the rest of the story....

I did get a trap eventually and set it up. I never did catch the chipmunk; he must have found his own way back into nature. Rest assured though if this ever happens again I will call the DEC to do my dirty work. At least then I will get something for all taxes I pay.


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