Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Frog delay needed

Congressman Tom McClintock June 11 wrote the director the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to request a 90-day  extension of its comment period about the yellow-legged frog.

The extra time is needed for local agencies to comment and to fully analyze the impact of listing this frog as “an endangered species” and designating 2 million acres as “critical habitat.”

USFWS has a tendency to go overboard on so-called critical habitat.

“Critical habitat designations will likely cause severe restrictions on land access and could limit or forbid activities such as grazing, trout stocking, logging, mining, and recreational use resulting in a devastating impact on the local economy,” McClintock wrote.

Trout stocking in the high Sierra has been discontinued by the state fish and game department, so it is less of a concern, but the other issues listed by McClintock are just the tip of the iceberg.

McClintock also pointed out that a big chunk of the Sierra is already wilderness area. And in the case of the Yosemite toad, it is covered by a national park, which hasn’t succeeded in saving the Yosemite toad for at least 20 years.

As far as we’re concerned, the Yosemite toad has been inadequately studied. More than 10 years ago researchers found that deformities in frogs was not because of a hole in the ozone layer, as assumed, but was a result of a parasite transmitted by bird poop from great blue herons. Regarding the yellow legged frog, there has been some breakthrough research conducted by San Francisco State University.

El Dorado County should invited a representative from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the state Fish and Wildlife Agency and Assistant Professor Vance Vredenburg from SFSU. Prof. Vredenburg and his graduate student, Natalie Reeder, discovered what’s killing off the yellow-legged frogs. Pacific chorus frogs are migrating into yellow legged frog territory and carrying a fungus to which the chorus frog are largely immune  and the yellow-legged frogs are not. They’re dropping like flies, in fact. Vredenburg, however, has saved whole ponds of yellow-legged frogs by giving the frogs antifungal baths. That may be whistling past the graveyard, though.

“We found that a vast majority of the Pacific chorus frogs don’t die or show symptoms even with surprisingly high levels of infection,” said Reeder. “They  are able to go about life as normal, roving over land and carrying the disease to new locations.”

“Because it is a water-borne fungus, scientists assumed it would spread downstream through rivers and lakes. But in the Sierra Nevada, the epidemic moved uphilll,” stated a March 2012 press release from SFSU.

The Pacific chorus frog is found all over the Pacific Coast from Baja to British Columbia. It has sticky feet and can climb trees and survive for long periods out of water. It is the frog everyone in the foothills hears when they open their windows at night.

“Because of the far-reaching and damaging effects these listings would have on local economies and communities, it is imperative that you allow for maximum public input before taking further steps forward.  The proposed rules include 100 pages of Federal Register detailing more than a decade of legal issues, previous federal actions, dozens of scientific studies, and recent research culminating in these proposals,” McClintock wrote. “There were only 41 business days from the time the proposed rules were published in the Federal Register to the June 24 comment deadline.”

This listing and critical habitat designation were cooked up as part of an April 24 deal between the USFWS and the Center for Biological Diversity, an Arizona-based environmentalist organization.

“We have also received reports that Fish and Wildlife staff are refusing to meet with localities to explain this proposed listing,”McClintock wrote to the USFWS director. “FWS’s own guidance on endangered status notes that comments ‘merely’ stating support or opposition will not be considered, and that the decision is to be made ‘solely on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available.’”

If they want scientific data then they should read what has been published by Prof. Vredenburg. It is scientific and sobering. Habitat designation isn’t a do-all-end-all of endangered species.

“Instead of rushing to designate new critical habitat, we ask the service to carefully evaluate the protections these species receive under existing law while affording local communities the necessary time to properly examine and comment on this proposal,” McClintock wrote.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should heed the congressman’s request and delay action for 90 days and send representatives out to the local agencies throughout the Sierra foothills. Two or more counties could hold joint hearings.

Mountain Democrat

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 35 comments

  • Phil VeerkampJune 20, 2013 - 9:12 pm

    LINK - RIBBIT!

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  • JethroMcSwiftJune 20, 2013 - 9:25 pm

    Fools!

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  • JethroMcSwiftJune 20, 2013 - 9:30 pm

    change display name HERE - http://www.mtdemocrat.com/?s2member_profile=1

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • James E.June 20, 2013 - 9:43 pm

    Well, Jethro is back. Who's next to come back to the inner sanctum?

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  • If an environmentalist kisses a frog does the frog get tingle leggs?June 20, 2013 - 9:56 pm

    Where's Cookie . . . ribbit!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Lady MacbethJune 21, 2013 - 7:16 am

    Out out, damn spot.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Lady MacbethJune 21, 2013 - 7:29 am

    Yet I will try the last. Before my body I throw my warlike shield. Lay on, Macduff, And damn'd be him that first cries, "Hold, enough!" ~ Evelyn

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  • Lady MacbethJune 21, 2013 - 7:33 am

    Thank you, Jethro! I see the Mt. Dem's new comment form retains line end and paragraph spaces. Great improvement. Thanks, Mt. Dem.

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  • Phil VeerkampJune 21, 2013 - 7:42 am

    Report abusive comment is just too much an opportunity for abuse! I feel abuse in the future . . . NOW even!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Phil VeerkampJune 21, 2013 - 7:44 am

    they are making progress, but . . . still . . . under construction

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Lady MacbethJune 21, 2013 - 7:51 am

    I see no abuse. Shall report Phil Veerkamp for making up things.

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  • EvelynJune 21, 2013 - 7:56 am

    Lady Macbeth: Thank you for your valuable online comments. James and I applaud your wisdom and look forward to your continued participation.

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  • Kirk MacKenzieJune 21, 2013 - 8:22 am

    Thanks Jethro!

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  • Phil VeerkampJune 21, 2013 - 8:33 am

    Kirk is back!

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  • Kirk MacKenzieJune 21, 2013 - 8:58 am

    yeah, I was stumped by the login challenge. Turns out the clue is on the "Contact Us | Customer Service" page, through the "Having trouble with mtdemocrat.com? Click here for help" link. Then it was a matter of recalling my profile info. Obvious, like most mysteries in retrospect. Upside: no more Captcha!

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  • Phil VeerkampJune 21, 2013 - 9:09 am

    no more captcha! . . . no more trolls . . . Cookie, come home . . . DB, come home . . . yoo-hoo . . . over here . . .

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  • Don SmithJune 21, 2013 - 10:00 am

    What the hell is going on? I've never experienced such a lack of communication and customer service on the part of the MD. I doubt if this will even go through.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Don SmithJune 21, 2013 - 10:14 am

    Phil and colonel, How was it that you were able to function while nobody else could? You two were having a fun but weird time of it. Like you said, it was kind of like you were in the Twilight Zone. The 1959 episode of "Where is Everybody". I'll bet you guys would take a look outside every once in awhile to see if there was any movement. HA! Colonel, I'm not a freeloader as I am a subscriber. I used DB Smith in the past but that's screwed up so now I'm Don Smith. The gig is up so I'll fess up. My name is Donald Boots Smith. I still liked DB Smith. Oh well......

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  • Phil VeerkampJune 21, 2013 - 10:14 am

    Don breaks through!!! YESSSS!

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  • Phil VeerkampJune 21, 2013 - 10:19 am

    D.B. you can go here - http://www.mtdemocrat.com/troubleshooting-website-access/mtdemocrat.com/?p=251639 and in the middle of the page is Display name you can return to the more familiar D.B. Smith if you choose.

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  • DB SmithJune 21, 2013 - 10:37 am

    If this post goes through I'll feel reborn.

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  • Phil VeerkampJune 21, 2013 - 10:38 am

    HA!

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  • Phil VeerkampJune 21, 2013 - 10:42 am

    Who's gonna take up the Richard outreach?

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  • DB SmithJune 21, 2013 - 10:55 am

    Phil, thanks for info. I still can not believe that the MD did not notify its customers of the changes. It would have made things much simpler even though it was fun watching Phil and the colonel rule the world. The MD did not return phone calls or emails which = p*ss poor customer service. Evelyn, are you sure you needed to subscribe?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • EvelynJune 21, 2013 - 11:28 am

    DB: Maybe not, but I'm OK with it.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • James E.June 21, 2013 - 12:59 pm

    DB returns. Slowly, the regs are coming back, no credit to the MtDemocrat.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • DB SmithJune 21, 2013 - 1:25 pm

    Cookie, Phil was able to resurrect me so I know he can do the same for you. Just reach out...........

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Fran DuChampJune 23, 2013 - 12:27 pm

    Sheriff John D'Agostini: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_vUGC8BWvI&feature=youtu.be&noredirect=1

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Fran DuChampJune 23, 2013 - 12:27 pm

    http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FWS-R8-ES-2012-0074

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  • Fran DuChampJune 23, 2013 - 12:30 pm

    READ...if everyone allows this land to be taken away--no one is getting it back...our sheriff is standing up...just a click and a comment. Mcclintock letter for reference http://www.mymotherlode.com/community/blogs/2136395/Comments-On-Endangered-Status-Designation.html

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Ken SteersJune 25, 2013 - 9:02 am

    I never left... Not that anyone cared. LOL. I must say good by to the political realm. Instead I will focus my time on helping children in our county. So I must bid all a fond adieu.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Ken SteersJune 25, 2013 - 2:13 pm

    Hello?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Fran DuChampJune 25, 2013 - 2:57 pm

    Hello...I did care...my name was not called out by Phil--I to felt unloved...I got over it...lololol...I thought Phil and James did a great job of ruling this space. And if you never left--thanks for allowing them a few moments to have their say.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Phil VeerkampJune 25, 2013 - 3:09 pm

    Ken, are you boarding or departing the mother ship? Welcome back - I hope.

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  • cookie65June 25, 2013 - 4:46 pm

    One of obama's climate advisors is recommending a war on coal. The left will never ever stop. I wish our moderates would figure that out and quit worrying about being liked and defend freedom for the sake of their grandkids. http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/wh-climate-adviser-war-coal-exactly-what-s-needed_737807.html

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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