Who's more important: beetles or humans?

March 24, 2010

I disagree with saving the tiger beetles ("Cliffhanger in Calvert," March 23).

First of all, residents were never told there was an endangered species along the cliff. People are fearful that their homes could tumble over the edge in the next several years. Some of these houses are within 8 feet of the edge of the cliff. They are losing chunks 8 to 12 feet at a time. It can give way without warning.

Secondly, residents who own waterfront homes here say they knew about the eroding cliff, but not about the Puritan tiger beetle, which has severely limited what they can do to halt or slow the loss of their land.

Some also say that it is a safety issue. There are 90 homes in Chesapeake Ranch Estate and 360 others along Calvert shore are on cliffs that have been deemed beetle habitat. In 1996 it gave way, burying a 12 year old girl on the beach below. Also, last Thanksgiving , one cliff-top resident lost a backyard hot tub.

I hope the bill allowing some incidental loss of beetles to save the hosues passes. It would not hurt the beetle at all. If nothing gets done about the cliff crumbling, there will be a lot of lives to be buried, or just a lot of homeless people. Do you want to live with beetles or humans? You pick!

Georgianna Reinfelder

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