Add to the list of those going to war with swamp rats the names of U.S. Sens. John N. Kennedy, of Louisiana, and Diane Feinstein, of California. They’re going to need their luck in a war against the nutria.
We know why Kennedy would be upset about the nutria menace, for those ugly critters devour swamp grasses and contribute mightily to coastal erosion. That is an existential menace in our state, by every meaning of the latter word.
In California, home to brigades of animal-lovers, Feinstein is also a senator who represents farmers. The nutria are tough on them, too. The Sacramento River valley is also protected by a levee system and wetlands, and so once again the nutria are a growing issue for the state.
The senators propose to double, to $12 million a year, the money that the U.S. government pays to states to attack the problem. In Louisiana’s case, literally attack, as bounties have long been paid for nutria pelts.
Good luck, Sen. Feinstein, because the nutria are a tougher problem than the Russians and the Chinese combined.