A minute, blind spider-like species which can be found only in Central Texas has been at the center of a lawsuit of late. John Yearwood, a rancher from Williamson County, north of Austin, initiated the lawsuit, in conjunction with the American Stewards of Liberty. Their battle isn’t against the species, which is called the Texella reyesi (a.k.a. Bone Cave harvestman), but against the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the county. And it’s not to protect the species, but to have it removed from the Endangered Species Act.
Texas Rancher Has Bone to Pick With Bone Cave Harvestman
Support of Attorney General of Texas
Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General, has shown his support of Yearwood in December 2016 and joined the ranks of those that feel there are agencies that could possibly be abusing the Interstate Commerce Clause in this matter. The Bone Cave harvestman is an orange arachnid over which Yearwood has been up against with Fish and Wildlife for more than two years now. He alleges the species has cost his ranch and the county millions of dollars in development which has been blocked resulting from its protection.
Lawsuit Outcome Could Have Broad Implications
In a statement quoted by the Daily Caller, Yearwood stated, “I welcome Texas’ engagement in support of our claims. This case doesn’t just affect my family and our property. It affects property owners all across the state. We’re grateful that the Texas Attorney General is standing up for us, and for Texas.” March 2017 is the earliest that oral arguments are anticipated to be heard in this suit, and of particular interest is the argument that the US Fish and Wildlife Service cannot regulate commerce on behalf of a species which only exists in one state. The outcome of this suit could have broad implications, considering close to 70 percent of all animal and plant species that are listed by the federal government as threatened or endangered would fall into this category.
Testing the 10th Amendment