Snakes vs. Lawyers

snalesSnakes vs. Lawyers: Tough choice on who’d win that confrontation.

Both have excellent speed, power and endurance.

One stays low to the ground, always crawling on its slimy underbelly. And the other is a slick and slippery reptile-like creature. I am not sure who’s more sneaky. One eats rats whole and has bugs for dessert; the other eats towns whole.

The New Jersey Builders Association have a better legal team and more lobbyists. The snakes have a better environmental team, and have been around since the Garden of Eden.

All in all, it’s a toss-up.

But, if you took the point spread and the New Jersey Builders Association this week, you lost!

That’s right — this week in New Jersey snakes combined for all the points: The New Jersey authorities regularly put the kibosh on home and business projects in all over the state. A big goose egg for the Developers and New Jersey Builders Association. Zero. Zippo. Nada.

Go Snakes! Score one for the slimy creatures (the snakes, not the lawyers).

In the corner for the Snakes are environmentalists and Department of Environmental Protection. In the corner for New Jersey Builders Association, well, are the lawyers for the New Jersey Builders Association.

"The mere hint of a northern pine snake habitat has derailed or delayed several recent multimillion-dollar projects, including a large residential development in Jackson, a Wal-Mart Superstore on the Toms River-Manchester border and a major expansion of the Garden State Parkway."

Here’s the tale (or tail) of the tape:

The Snakes:

The corn snake, for example, a colorful, docile, rodent-eating species that's a popular choice for a pet reptile has been under state protection since 1979, and is presently listed as an endangered species. The dull-colored, secretive northern pine snake is listed as threatened.

The New Jersey Builders Association:

The New Jersey Builders Association is a professional trade association comprised of builders, remodelers, material suppliers, subcontractors, consultants, lending institutions, utilities and others involved in housing and building-related fields. Their priorities: the promotion, protection and improvement of the building industry in New Jersey. Not snakes.

Unless, of course, there are snakes on the property.

The Snakes have won — for now.

But a rematch has been set up already (from “The New Jersey Builders Association is demanding the northern pine snake be removed from the state's list of endangered and threatened species, contending there is no scientific reason the reptile found predominantly in South Jersey should be protected…. The builders' petition will be reviewed by the Endangered and Nongame Species Advisory Council, a state panel consisting largely of biologists. The group must review the pine snake's case within 90 days and make a recommendation to Department of Environmental Protection commissioner Mark Mauriello, who will make the final decision.”

But for now, the snakes are still crawling. Is there a Wal-Mart in their future? Stay tuned for next episode. Snakes vs. Lawyers