Eight years ago I wrote about how environmental lobbyists working for environmental lawyer groups kept the federal government in such a tail-chasing frenzy nothing could ever really get accomplished.

My frustration was over the Paiute cutthroat trout, a rare High Sierra fish that everyone agreed needed help. The government agreed, sportsmen agreed, the courts agreed, environmentalists agreed, but then it was environmentalists preventing it from happening.

The federal government and the state wanted to restore this rare fish to its historical range, but environmentalists invoked the badly written Wilderness Act to prevent them from using the auger that was essential to doing it - because with no power lines it could only be powered by a gas generator and environmentalists blocked that as illegal in designated wilderness areas.

The slippery slope reasoning they used is the same reason why we can't have sensible gun or abortion reform; everyone thinks if any concession is made, the road to bans is paved.

So to prevent the Wilderness Act from being worked around to help the endangered fish that was required by law to be restored under the federal Endangered Species Act, Wilderness Watch and two other activist groups sued. If you are in naïve bubble and think most environmental groups care about the environment I don't want to burst it but they file lawsuits to get their court costs paid in settlements. They most often sue to get cash flow.

And this fish was their target, even though it was one of the first animals listed under the Endangered Species Act. A fish so at risk while environmentalists kept government from doing anything that a private group took some to an isolated Silver King Creek pool where non-native fish couldn't get at them. They are lucky they didn't get federal penitentiary time for that, but if Wilderness Watch and others had known about it they likely would have, or least a 350.org-style assault on their homes.

Federal biologists knew the behavior of the environmental lawyers was mercenary and so did state ones, but U.S. District Judge Frank C. Damrell Jr. had to give one of the competing environmental law groups an injunction so he sided with the environmentalists using the badly written Wilderness Act to stick it to the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the California Department of Fish and Game, all of whom were willing to supervise an auger being used to give the fish a place where they wouldn't die at the hands of the non-native invasive fish that had cropped up there. All to obey the mandate of the Endangered Species Act.

The Trump administration won't get any credit for seeing this through, but today 30 Paiute cutthroat trout were hauled on mules to Silver King Creek, where it hasn't been running since the 1920s. If the white rhino is any indcation (from 200 to 20,000) is any barometer, sportsmen could be back to enjoying this beautiful fish in no time. Just like our ancestors did. 

That's not thanks to environmentalists, it's in spite of them.