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Frog protection may threaten Sierra access

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POSTED September 3, 2013 12:56 a.m.

Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

The Stanislaus National Forest has some of the most beautiful scenery in the Sierra. I have hiked, backpacked, and ridden my horse in much of the Stanislaus over the past 40 years, and now I feel that access is highly threatened.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to list the Yellow Legged Frog and the Yosemite Toad as endangered species and in conjunction with that, establish critical habitat for these amphibians. The reason they state, is due to their declining population.  They say that their demise is due to much of what humans have been doing within our Sierra, such as introducing trout, which by the way have historically been a part of the Sierra.  They say that there is a fungus that is killing these amphibians, yet they do not indicate there is anything that can be done about this foreign fungus. Climate change may have much to do with this decline, though I doubt there is much that will be done within the next 20-25 years to affect much of a change to this issue. They want to set aside areas of critical habitat in order to protect these frogs and toads when there is no proven reason to provide this restriction.

Much of the areas that I like to spend my recreational time in are located within the Stanislaus. I foresee that trails will be rerouted or closed, that many camping areas will be limited or closed due to this action.

Listing of these amphibians as an endangered species will have a real negative effect on recreational use of our dear treasured Sierra forests. Just in the Emigrant Wilderness alone, about 90% of that wilderness area is designated as a critical habitat. Though this action would have little effect on private lands in the Sierra, it would greatly affect much of our public lands. This action would set aside a large volume of critical habitat for these amphibians in 17 counties here in California.

The public needs to let the US Fish and Wildlife Service know that listing of these amphibians is something that need not be done.  There is no possible way that any action by the government of restricting the publics’ access will have any positive effect on these frogs and toads. 

Let nature take it’s course and let humans continue to enjoy the beauty and use of our public lands here in California.

You can comment to the Fish and Wildlife Service by going to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: In the Search box,

Enter FWS–R8–ES–2012–0100 (the docket number for the proposed listing rule) or FWS–R8–ES–2012–0074 (the docket number for the proposed critical habitat rule).

Or by US Mail to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS–R8–ES–2012–0100 or FWS–R8–ES–2012–0074, Division of Policy and Directives Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM, Arlington, VA 22203

Bob Magee
Sept. 1, 2013

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