A total of 650,000 civilian employees are now being furloughed at U.S. military bases in response to sequester cuts — but the Department of Defense is still spending millions to protect fuzzy critters.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Washington state just received a $3.5 million department grant to purchase land around the base in an effort to protect the Mazama pocket gopher, a species that has not even been listed as endangered or threatened.
The expense is not sitting well with furloughed workers.
“That really makes me mad that they would do that,” said Matt Hines, one of 10,000 civilian employees forced to take a 20 percent pay cut. “I’m all for saving animals, but at what cost?”