Last Updated:October 30 @ 07:56 am

Feds want frog protection over 2 million acres of Sierra Nevada

By Los Angeles Times

A federal proposal to make the Sierra Nevada as comfortable as possible for some of their rarest amphibian inhabitants has stirred a backlash from business owners over the economic pain it could cause the region's recreation industry.

Many opponents worry the proposal would do more to protect frogs and toads than nonnative trout -- a top tourist draw in mountain resort communities where cash registers ring up purchases by vacationers, hikers and fishing enthusiasts this time of year.

The controversy hinges on a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal to designate roughly 2 million acres in 16 Northern California counties as critical habitat for the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog, the mountain yellow-legged frog and the Yosemite toad.

Since the 1960s, the amphibians have been decimated by fires, mudslides, pesticides, fungal infections and loss of habitat, as well as nonnative predators such as brown, rainbow, brook and cutthroat trout.

The Sierra between roughly Mt. Whitney and Lake Tahoe was barren of trout until the 1800s, when mountaineers and prospectors began packing them in with milk cans and canvas bags.

Federal land-use and wildlife protection proposals are especially controversial in the eastern Sierra's Inyo County, home to some of the best trout-fishing streams in the state. Just 2% of the 10,000-square-mile region is privately owned, and 65% of the publicly owned land is already designated as wilderness.

"We get a little freaked out if someone takes tries to take one more acre away from what little is left for private and commercial development," said Tawni Thomson, executive director of the Bishop Chamber of Commerce.

"So we're doing everything we can to encourage our members to make sure that decision makers know that, yes, the frogs are important -- but we have to balance that with the economic viability of our communities."

Sarah Swenty, a spokeswoman for the Fish and Wildlife Service, agrees -- up to a point. "We can't say the designation wouldn't have any effect at all -- but we are not here to put anyone out of business," Swenty said. "Essentially, a critical habitat designation identifies areas where a species of concern could survive and puts federal agencies on notice that they must take its needs into account when designing any project that requires a permit to proceed."

In addition, she said, "it absolutely does not change ownership of the land. That stays the same."

The Fish and Wildlife Service plans to release the proposal's projected economic effects on Sept. 13.

Meanwhile, in Southern California, the mountain yellow-legged frog has made a remarkable leap toward recovery for an endangered species, federal biologists said.

In 2010, only 200 remained in isolated wild populations, prompting federal wildlife authorities and zoos in Fresno, Los Angeles and San Diego to launch an ambitious recovery program that included captive breeding, trout removal and barring public access to areas where frogs were clinging to existence.

Today, the number of wild frogs scientists know as Rana muscosa is roughly 1,000, according to Robert Fisher, a research biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

___

(c)2013 the Los Angeles Times

Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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36 Comments

  1. cxComment by genesal
    August 26, 2013 @ 12:16 pm

    FTF’S

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    • cxComment by genesal
      August 26, 2013 @ 3:05 pm

      I went round and round with the BLM about metal detectors. They said I couldn’t use them to find buried objects like coins and the such because they are owned by ‘the people’.

      Well ‘People’ do you know you own a bunch of buried stuff that you’ll never get to see, much less enjoy? How is it that they come to own ‘our’ land.
      I’ve been spouting off about ‘States Rights’ for over 10 years, is it too late now?

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      Rating: 4.8/5 (20 votes cast)
  2. capricorn1Comment by capricorn1
    August 26, 2013 @ 12:56 pm

    i am sorry people,but i dont believe that animals are more important than human beings.that is just fubar.

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    Rating: 4.9/5 (35 votes cast)
    • poppoComment by poppo
      August 26, 2013 @ 5:47 pm

      It is not about the animals. It is about the POWER to bend others to their will.

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      Rating: 4.8/5 (17 votes cast)
    • rzraickComment by rzraick
      August 26, 2013 @ 10:33 pm

      I agree.

      All the environmentalist stuff is a deception. Naturally anyone would support something that was truly about the environment, but that is not what this is.

      Global warming or climate change are a propaganda ploy to direct peoples attention away from the real problems, which are totally political and certainly not environmental.

      Anything the government wants to control or tax need only be slapped with a “protect the environment” label, and people will buy into it.

      Just as anything they want to keep you from knowing about is slapped with the label “national security”.

      This is about the elite and their agenda 21. The long range plan is to reduce the human population to a fraction of what it is, and the make the survivors into slaves,

      They are already doing it. They are using the four horsemen of the apocalypse (death, war, famine and pestilence to do this.)

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  3. jenerseaComment by jenersea
    August 26, 2013 @ 1:07 pm

    Just more things to wreck the economy. Just like with the owl that no one ever saw. This frog will be seen by who? Do the predators read these alerts and act accordingly?

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    • sumitchComment by sumitch
      August 26, 2013 @ 2:02 pm

      Tawni Thompson says the frogs are important. I’d like to see her reasoning for that statement. Seems to me she’s saying that the livelihood of humans is less important that this frog.

      “This does not change the ownership of the land”. Maybe true but it does tell you what you can and can’t do with it.

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    • pistol packing mamaComment by txgoatlady
      August 26, 2013 @ 2:41 pm

      Not only that, but your property taxes will still reflect the value of the land as if you could actually do something profitable with it.

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    • texasoltimerComment by texasoltimer
      August 26, 2013 @ 2:45 pm

      Assume the owl no one saw might be the one that held up the building of a high school in Tucson for some 10 years… If so, for those that didn’t hear about it, a bond issue passed in Tucson in the early 90s. Lawsuits held it up because an endangered owl habitat was on the land. Finally a judge with common sense hear the case and asked if anyone had ever seen this own in that area. The answer was “No, but if one was here, that’s where it would want to build it’s nest.” The judge said, “In that event, the owl can find somewhere else to make a home. Build your school.”

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    • recce1Comment by recce1
      August 29, 2013 @ 1:51 am

      txgoatlady, you’ve highlighted a crucial point. I find the spokeswoman for the Fish and Wildlife Service Sarah Swenty’s statement, “it absolutely does not change ownership of the land. That stays the same” quite interesting if not disingenuous. What she’s saying is that the government isn’t going to take over private land, compensate the owners, and bear the responsibilities of protecting the frogs. Rather, it’ll require the private landowners to do that at their own expense. That folks is fascism at work.

      How so? After all, most people think of fascism as the sound of jackboots in the street like in the 1930s and 40s Germany. But here’s an excellent definition of fascism I found on the Internet; “Fascism is an economic model in which the states dictates the utilization of privately held assets to achieve public policy goals.”

      By the way, the other side of the coin of fascism is socialism.

      It’s too bad the federal government will likely not abide by the SCOTUS Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, 570 U.S. (2013) Decision concerning the effective taking of private property without just compensation as required by the Constitution’s 5th Amendment. But then the SCOTUS Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005) Decision effectively ended the concept of a right to private property in the US.

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  4. MustLiveFreeComment by MustLiveFree
    August 26, 2013 @ 1:19 pm

    Fish and Wildlife should concentrate on DC – it is barren of brains.

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  5. defendconstitutionComment by defendconstitution
    August 26, 2013 @ 1:59 pm

    In addition, she said, “it absolutely does not change ownership of the land. That stays the same.” may be true but the new regs would seriously restrict what one could do with their land.

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    • texasoltimerComment by texasoltimer
      August 26, 2013 @ 2:41 pm

      Here in central Texas we have the Houston Toad habitats. From what I can find online, these are extremely rare and are very tiny – maybe the size of your thumb. One article says that only 40 have ever been found. But… if one were in the area, it would live in Bastrop County and a few other areas. Even though the people own the land, they have to jump through hoops to do anything at all with their property. Many bought it (it’s in the Lost Pines area) to build a retirement home and now just have a piece of land that they aren’t allowed to build on.

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    • poppoComment by poppo
      August 26, 2013 @ 5:51 pm

      Now that they have rendered the land useless because of their regulations, they will have to raise the taxes to hire enforcers and inspectors to administer the new regulations.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (11 votes cast)
  6. texasoltimerComment by texasoltimer
    August 26, 2013 @ 2:39 pm

    Liberal blathersite. The liberals want to turn our world over to the animals and have people live in ‘concaves’ in certain areas with little ability to travel. Research the UN Agenda 21 (now called Future Earth)and look at their map.

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  7. texasoltimerComment by texasoltimer
    August 26, 2013 @ 2:39 pm

    The government already controls most of the land in Nevada and Utah. This is just an additional land grab with the land owners or the state’s approval.

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  8. allfor1and1forallComment by allfor1and1forall
    August 26, 2013 @ 2:46 pm

    And exactly when did all this eco-cr*p become an enumerated power?????

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  9. roint1228Comment by roint1228
    August 26, 2013 @ 2:57 pm

    She is such a purveyor of lies and propaganda. The FS and the federal government want these people to move off that land and back into the cities where they can be better controlled…That is the Agenda 21 way, the environmental protection away, THE LAND GRAB WAY. If their lips are moving, they are lying. If you cannot use the land as you see fit, it is not yours.

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    • poppoComment by poppo
      August 26, 2013 @ 5:52 pm

      Yes, too many people have left Detroit to live in the real world. Gotta get them back into the tax base.

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  10. tonyrohlComment by tonyrohl
    August 26, 2013 @ 3:05 pm

    The Sierra Club used the Spotted Owl to destroy the timber industry in Nevada County, in California. This is more of the same. Ironically, the EPA has embarked on a plan to shoot an owl species they feel has encroached on Spotted Owl habitat.

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    • begneli2011Comment by begneli2011
      August 26, 2013 @ 3:24 pm

      And no president in office does anything about it including Bush.

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      Rating: 4.3/5 (6 votes cast)
  11. xjandinComment by xjandin
    August 26, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

    Hey, it’s California – should fit right in with the rest of the stuff that’s bankrupting the state.

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  12. rrsjd`Comment by rrsjd`
    August 26, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

    It is of little use if the ownership of the land does not change, as the designation will likely devalue it and make it undevelopable, thus the owner ends up paying property taxes on a worthless piece of property.

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  13. begneli2011Comment by begneli2011
    August 26, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

    This is not about frogs. Obamacare is not about health. Throttling energy production is not about the air. It is all about control. Big government. A centralized government that crushes the rights of the states and their citizens. We never will know when we are violating some regulation as there are now ten’s of thousands and more everyday.

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    • poppoComment by poppo
      August 26, 2013 @ 5:55 pm

      And now if they accuse you of violating an EPA mandate they do not have to prove it, you have to DISPROVE it. You are guilty as charged until proven innocent. And, they own the judges!

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  14. jbdestinyComment by jbdestiny
    August 26, 2013 @ 3:44 pm

    Showing once again that libs don’t truly believe in “Survival of the Fittest.”

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    • poppoComment by poppo
      August 26, 2013 @ 5:56 pm

      They believe in the survival of the liberal-est!

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  15. ara5353Comment by ara5353
    August 26, 2013 @ 5:41 pm

    It’s time to give California back to Mexico and transfer all the federal and state bureaucrats to the Mexican government. All the California Progressive politicians can join the PRI and take bribes from the drug traffickers.

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  16. oldsaltydawgComment by oldsaltydawg
    August 26, 2013 @ 7:22 pm

    I wonder if those in the federal Government agencies have enough BRAINS to know that since the area they are wanting set aside is Dessert and that Toads and Frogs need water to reproduce so they cannot do that in the Dessert a place which is very dry most f the time and when it does rain it does not last long enough for them to procreate. So like all the California land Clinton stole for Redford the frogs won’t survive there in the Dessert climate.

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    • fouroaks93Comment by fouroaks93
      August 29, 2013 @ 6:12 pm

      Actually the Sierra’s are a high mountain range, not desert. Sorry oldsaltydawg, but on this one you are wrong. The rest of your posts, I believe in!

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  17. hkazComment by hkaz
    August 26, 2013 @ 8:09 pm

    This is just another land grab by the government. Just who the hell decided that they should own everything?

    It’s time for the government to start selling off all the things they have no business owning (airports, trains, buses,schools, museums, millions of acres of land, etc) and retire the national debt, cut all the taxes by 80%, and defend the borders that they are supposed to.

    One of the first land grabs Obama did was millions of acres in and around Colorado supposedly for “wild horses” but was actually was to grab up land that held shale oil.

    We need to stop the theives!

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  18. reconjoe238Comment by reconjoe238
    August 26, 2013 @ 8:44 pm

    texasoltimer is on to it. This is all about agenda21, and “sustainable development” The united nations is ultimately in control and square foot by square mile , the authorities want to return Mother Earth to the beasts and the birds.
    When it comes to what is NOT good for the planet,that is whatever is “unsustainable”, meaning humans and our entire way of life, we are unsustainable , get it? According to A21, the planet can not sustain us,move out the folks so the tree frog will survive, businesses leave because there are not any folks to work or buy stuff,than do it again and again and pretty soon all the folks need to be moved out of their homes because our cars pollute , our rec.centers hurt the planet, any company that does not buy in to the plan and go along with the whole “Al the whack job Gore” climate control game, those companies get shut down., move the folks out of the suburbs and back in to the city in nice little barracks… seems pretty far out , but when you look at the end game of A21,Common Core Education standards (more UN) and the sustainable dev. buul sheet,well then where does that leave us?
    Check out the American Policy Center and the boys at John Birch Society(don’t let that name scare ya,they really are the good guys)..We really need to push all these Gop folks and get them to put on their big boy pants and DO THE RIGHT THING FOR GODS SAKE ! How long will they wait before they stand up for us, REALLY REALLY stand up for us and push back on all these bad guys and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH ALREADY !
    (i’m tired folks,… for God, Family,and Country..see ya later)

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    • poppoComment by poppo
      August 26, 2013 @ 11:45 pm

      And Obamacare has been tailored to eliminate the older folks….”You are past your ability to contribute to society, and we cannot afford to keep you alive through expensive medical care”, then we are going to encourage gay sex, that should get rid of a few million through AIDS, Plus a few million straights that mess with the crossovers. The we will pay for killing babies through abortion, less born because of gay marriage and pills and morning after pills. Broken homes will assure more people of having less children and the gangs they will foster will have another effect on the decline in population. Then there will be so few people left the liberal ******** will have no one to tax for all their expensive programs. In a hundred years, they will be walking and living in caves…….End of USA.

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  19. joejacksonComment by joejackson
    August 27, 2013 @ 7:48 am

    EPA and other government agencies are tied to progressive radicals locked together in combat to destroy America economically and culturally. Why does every country on earth use their energy sources except America? Could it be that I am correct the war on America is within and by progressives using our own government to steal our country.
    Scandals: Fast & Furious, Benghazi, Green job wasted on Obama campaign
    > contributors, IRS,EPA, Obamacare, AP and Fox News spying, GSA, NSA, FBI, CIA, TSA, DHS, DOJ, Ft.Hood, Hurricane Sandy,
    > BP/Obama oil spill, There are so many others of government waste and inefficiency crony capitalism and simply the sleaze associated wherever Obama appears. These are all worthy of investigation but His media is acting like the Gestapo under Hitler and says nothing. Even the FBI has looked the other way on these to their shame.
    >
    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20130518055618AAKU46N many more

    Here are more from the first 4 years:http://obamascandalslist.blogspot.com/2009/10/obama-scandals-list.html

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  20. FreeDameComment by FreeDame
    August 27, 2013 @ 10:37 am

    “…we have to balance that with the economic viability of our communities.” Balance from the EPA? That’s about as likely as justice from our Justice Department.

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  21. mvotano58Comment by mvotano58
    September 3, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

    A little late to the party…..sounds a lot like a “Manbearpig” story to me.

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