It’s a favorite target in John McCain’s tirade against pork-barrel spending, but scientists hail the Northern Divide Grizzly Bear Project as a great success, the Washington Post reports. The $5 million Montana study tabulated the grizzly population, assessing the success of conservation efforts and proving, says one researcher, “The Endangered Species Act works.”
The narrator of a McCain ad intones, “Three million to study the DNA of bears in Montana. Unbelievable.” The presumptive GOP nominee generally focuses on military projects and corporate tax breaks, saving some lighthearted breath for animal- or plant-related earmarks. Scientists are not amused by the candidate’s jokes at their expense They and argue that the protection of bears is a linchpin for conservation of entire habitats.