Arizona Spends Nearly $5 Million on Bridges for Sheep. Still No Cash for Transplants...Or Anything Else

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You might think a state as strapped for cash as Arizona's been these last few years wouldn't have pissed away nearly $5 million on things like bridges for sheep. You'd be wrong.

The Arizona Republic this morning published an article about three bridges built across the Hoover Dam that are three of the most exclusive bridges in the country. In fact, humans need not apply -- these bridges are for sheep, and they cost taxpayers $4.8 million.

We're aware the decision to drop that kind of cash on a bridge for sheep was made prior to the current budget crunch, but it's stupid crap like this that's put Arizona so deep in the red.

Wildlife officials say the first-of-its-kind project will help save Arizona's largest herd of bighorn sheep and keep them off of U.S. 93, thus improving highway safety.

From the Republic:

The Black Mountains are home to about one-third of Arizona's desert bighorn sheep. Rams from the herd have been transplanted in other parts of Arizona, Utah, Colorado and Texas.

Biologists knew some of the sheep crossed the two-lane highway, 15 harrowing miles of sharp turns and steep inclines, but some sheep stopped and turned around. The fragmented habitat made it difficult for the sheep herd to recover from drought or disease and to breed properly.

"Movement is critical for bighorn sheep," said Zen Mocarski, education manager for the Game and Fish Kingman region. "As we cut animal populations into smaller and smaller segments, we start to see inbreeding. . . . It's not a good thing to have happen."

You know what else isn't a "good thing to have happen?" A human being needing a new liver but being told to piss off because the state's more concerned with getting a few sheep across the Colorado river.

Last month, Governor Jan Brewer opted to slash about $1.2 million from the state's Medicaid funding, which is a problem for the 98 Arizonans waiting for a life-saving transplant procedure they may no longer be able to afford thanks to the cuts.

Since the cuts were made, two people awaiting transplants have died.

The Republic's article notes that "state State officials know critics may question the need to build bridges for wildlife or object to the cost, $4.8 million for the three structures."

There's no "question" -- building a bridge for sheep is just flat-out stupid.


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16 comments
Anon
Anon

We need the bridges for the sheep and money for transplants. We do NOT need more incarceration of people/taxpayers and the profiteers in the mass industrial prison complex Arizona has become. Where is the Senate Committee on "Corrections", Prison issues -- a one BILLION $$ budget that's swept under the rug and not discussed in the public arena? Why is $50,000,000 Federal stimulus money going to Corrections/prisons, instead of education, health care and social services for the people?

XSoldier
XSoldier

We elected Republicans into office, and we now have to live with their stupidity.

This makes me glad I voted for Barry Hess, Felecia Rotellini, Chris Deschene, and other non-Republicans....

Anon
Anon

ignorant voters elect ignorant leaders... truly sad state of affairs in Arizona.

Marnie Lawrence
Marnie Lawrence

Arizona appropriated monies that we are alotted annually in Greenlee county to the tune of around $600,000 which in a county of a little over 2000 is a lot of money. We aren't even having our annual horse races which will have a HUGE economic impact on the businesses. No wonder Arizona is so broke. Oh well at least they decided against the red squirrel bridges.

aguestisaguesttiltheyarent
aguestisaguesttiltheyarent

"And if the people didn't drink their livers into crap, they'd be fine."

That was a stupid moronic statement....exactly how do you know the cause that puts people on a transplant list?..... Is that you Jan? -you ignorant inebriated slut. And for the record - no one is pissed at you Laurie - you have clearly shown you aren't worth getting pissed about.

Laurie
Laurie

Get pissed at me all you want people, but I agree with the need for the bridges for the sheep, And if the people didn't drink their livers into crap, they'd be fine. The sheep can't go get a job, but people can.

Loveless
Loveless

I am a survivor of a stem cell transplant to treat my Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

Please let my oncologist know what causes this type of cancer, since you know what causes everyone's diseases.

Marcy
Marcy

You are welcome to all the transplants you or your insurance care to pay for.

Subluecopen
Subluecopen

Not everyone who needs a liver/kidney/whatever transplant harmed themselves to get that way. I guess you've never made a mistake in your life.

Marcy
Marcy

Mistakes have consequences

aguestisaguesttiltheyarent
aguestisaguesttiltheyarent

"As we cut animal populations into smaller and smaller segments, we start to see inbreeding. . . . It's not a good thing to have happen."

OOOHHHH - got it - you're talking about the Big Horn sheep and not our legislature and governor... had to read that twice.

fact checker
fact checker

"Since the cuts were made, two people awaiting transplants have died."

The implication here is that IF money was available, the people awaiting transplants would have lived. But people awaiting transplants often die before transplants become available, regardless of funding. If the former is true, then you should say so. If the latter is true, then you're being deceptive.

Marcy
Marcy

Not to mention that if Person A doesn't receive the donated organ it instead goes to Person B. Thus zero net lives are lost.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

Ohhhh - the hunters in the legislature won't like the opinions expressed in this article!

That's who you can thank here - the whack-jog hunters who want "healthy" populations of Big Horn so they can use bloodlust to satisfy their egos and make up for their pathetically small penises.

I can just here them now "Don't call me stupid!"

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