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Protecting frogs protects the Sierra for all of us

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POSTED September 3, 2013 11:27 p.m.

Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

Yellow-legged frogs and Yosemite toads were once a common sight in the high Sierra, but no more. Their dramatic decline is a warning of the failing health of our high Sierra ecosystems, which are being battered by habitat loss, rapid climate change, introduced species, pesticide contamination and an amphibian disease epidemic.

 That’s why the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed Endangered Species Act protection for these irreplaceable amphibians, along with proposed critical habitat across the Sierra.

Unfortunately, opponents of the Endangered Species Act are leading a misinformation campaign to convince Californians that protecting critical habitat for these animals on public lands will somehow close down our national forests to human activity. You will notice that they never provide any evidence to support that claim. That’s because there is none.

Designating critical habitat simply ensures that federal agencies don’t take actions which destroy habitat essential for the recovery of endangered species. Why would anyone support destroying valuable wildlife habitat on public lands, the very places that provide us with clean water, breathable air and forest recreation?

 The facts are clear: protecting these amphibians will preserve the fragile high Sierra for all of us.

Jeff Miller
Center for Biological Diversity
San Francisco
Sept. 3, 2013

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