Americans who live in or near a community built around a lake should be careful about stepping outside to mow the lawn if the temperature isn’t just right and the grass isn’t a certain height.
They should keep pets indoors. They should forget about using weed killer. And they should be prepared to pony up a steep homeowners association fee.
That’s because there may be snakes in the area protected by the Endangered Species Act of 1973, which imposes stiff penalties and fines for violating its rules and restrictions.
Rob Gordon, a senior research fellow with The Heritage Foundation, discovered the situation while researching the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 1999 decision to list the Lake Erie water snake as a “threatened” species.