Note the passages in bold. This is everything that's wrong with modern-day environmentalism.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge temporarily stopped construction on a $320 million irrigation project Thursday, ruling the changes could disturb the habitat of a woodpecker that might or might not exist.
Scientists had thought the ivory-billed woodpecker was extinct until a kayaker reported spotting one in 2004 near the White River in eastern Arkansas. Ornithologists flocked to the area but were unable to prove conclusively that the woodpecker exists.
U.S. District Judge William R. Wilson said that, for purposes of the lawsuit, he had to presume the woodpecker exists in that area. He said federal agencies may have violated the Endangered Species Act by not studying the habitat fully.
``When an endangered species is allegedly jeopardized, the balance of hardships and public interest tips in favor of the protected species,'' Wilson wrote. ``Here there is evidence the IBW may be jeopardized.''
At the same time, aquifers beneath eastern Arkansas soybean, cotton and rice fields have become less reliable water sources. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last year began construction on the Grand Prairie Irrigation Project, 14 miles from where the bird was spotted.