Story Archive

Bureaucracy Inaction

The city of Berkeley, Calif., had a squirrel problem. Cesar Chavez Park, a 90-acre park covering a former landfill, had an abundant squirrel population that was digging toward the clay cap sealing off the landfill’s contents, causing a risk of toxic substances being released into the San Francisco Bay. Initially, the city planned to exterminate the squirrels, but that caused a blowback in the form of 81,000 angry letters, and so many emails that they crashed the city’s servers. So, the city government did what they do best: they formed a squirrel subcommittee. After several months, the committee reached a solution: stop feeding the squirrels. A new law was passed criminalizing the feeding of wildlife in city parks. (MS/San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times) ...Next on the city’s agenda: how to put deer crossings at safer places for the deer.
Original Publication Date: 27 July 2014
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 21.

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