Thursday, February 07, 2008

Ivory-bill "Boom Goes Bust"

The temporary economic boom created by the so-called “rediscovery” of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, which was highlighted at the time on NPR (see here), has come to a screeching halt following the failure to prove the existence of a population in the Arkansas swamps, leaving the entrepreneurial souls who jumped on the Campephilus bandwagon out of business and broke, as reported here (registration my be required) by the New York Times. Excerpts follow:
“It has been kind of a disappointment,” said Penny Childs, owner of Penny’s Hair Care and creator of the “woodpecker haircut,” which she does not get many requests for anymore. “The delta could use millions of dollars to build up our lives, but instead we struggle.”

Mrs. Childs, 43, is still cutting hair, but just down the street from her small one room salon, an empty brick building is all that remains of the Ivory-Bill Nest gift shop, which closed last January. Down the street, the former Ivory-Billed Inn and R.V. Park is now a Days Inn.

“I did invest a lot of money in stuff to sell, and I didn’t even break even,” Mrs. Childs said. “I have got a whole yard full of wooden woodpeckers right now.”

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