Monday, April 21, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

My turn: ‘Greens Gone Wild’

By
July 31, 2013 | 3 Comments

I rise today to warn of the latest episode in a saga that can best be described as “Greens Gone Wild.” It involves the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposal to declare two million acres in the Sierra Nevada as “critical habitat” for the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog and the Yosemite toad under the Endangered Species Act.

That is essentially the footprint of the Sierra Nevada from Lassen County north of Tahoe to Kern County just outside of Los Angeles. This designation would add draconian new restrictions to those that have already severely reduced productive uses such as grazing, timber harvesting, mining, recreation and tourism and fire suppression efforts.

And for what? Even the Fish & Wildlife Service admits that the two biggest factors in the decline of these amphibian populations are not human activity at all, but rather non-native trout predators and the Bd fungus that has stricken amphibian populations across the western United States — neither of which will be relieved by this drastic expansion of federal regulations.

The species that will be most affected by this action is the human population, and that result will be tragic, severe, and entirely preventable.

For example, timber harvesting that once removed the overgrowth from our forests and put it to productive use — assuring us both healthier forests and a thriving economy — is down more than 80 percent since 1980 in the Sierra — all because of government restrictions. The result is more frequent and intense forest fires, closed mills, unemployed families and a devastated economy throughout the region.

Existing regulations already effectively put hundreds of thousands of acres of forest off limits to human activity by such laws as the Wilderness Act, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, not to mention a crushing array of California state regulations.

This proposal by the fish and wildlife service would vastly expand these restrictions.

This is part of a much bigger picture.

In Yosemite National Park, the Department of Interior is proposing to expel longstanding tourist amenities from the valley and lock in a plan that would result in 27 percent fewer campsites than in 1997 and 31 percent less lodging.

Throughout the Sierra Nevada, the U.S. Forest Service is closing access roads, imposing cost-prohibitive fees and conditions on cabin rentals, grazing rights, mining, and of course, timber harvesting, and obstructing longstanding community events on which many of these towns rely for tourism.

The one common denominator in these actions is an obvious desire to force the public off the public’s land. Gifford Pinchot, the legendary founder of the U.S. Forest Service always said the purpose of the public lands was the “greatest good for the greatest number in the long run.” John Muir, the legendary conservationist responsible for preserving Yosemite Valley did so in the words of the legislation he inspired, for the express purpose of “public use, resort and recreation.”

These visions of the sound management of our public lands by the pioneers of our parks and forest systems are quickly being replaced by elitist and exclusionary policies that can best be described as “look, but don’t touch; visit, but don’t enjoy.”

No one values the natural resources of the Sierra Nevada more than the people who live there and who have entrusted me to speak for them in Congress. These communities have jealously safeguarded the beauty of the region and the sustainability of the lands for generations. Their prosperity — and their posterity — depends on sustained and responsible stewardship of these lands.

Now, federal authorities are replacing these balanced and responsible policies with vastly different ones that amount to a policy of exclusion and benign neglect.

We have a sacred obligation to future generations to preserve and protect our public lands. But protecting our public lands for future generations doesn’t mean we must close them to the current generation.

Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, represents the 4th Congressional District, which includes El Dorado County. 

Tom Mcclintock

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 3 comments

  • Dink LaneJuly 31, 2013 - 12:18 pm

    So where would you (McClintock) say "Let the frogs live here?".... The point we need to remember is that these "Frogs" are a bellwether for many other species...... According to the records, people violated the restricted areas set aside for frog habitats ..... Irresponsible-selfish-people came in with their 4-wheel-drives and motorcycles went off in their habitat and tore up the dirt and grass, spilling oil and gas.... creating serious damage to any wildlife's survival. .... What is wrong with my fellow Americans? Why is it that no one has any responsibility to anything besides their right to tear-up and destroy property that doesn't BELONG to JUST THEM? How many times have we gone out hunting for deer and find camps with burnt beer cans, trash, toilet paper and urine smell every where? The trees filled with more lead than several boxes of shells? ..... When we don't ask our fellow man to respect what we got, then someone wiser steps in and says "Hey guys, it's time to grow up." You can come back after we can repair the damage....... You want the roads open??.... Then act like adults, and work with the environment, not against it.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • MikeAugust 06, 2013 - 10:53 am

    How many places are you going to post this Dink? That makes perfect sense..... Let's use the actions of a few (if concrete proof is found) to punish the many.... While we are at it, why don't we: Jail all Muslims because of 9/11? Close all Bars because of Drunk Drivers? Close all Roads because of Speeding/Accidents? Close all Rivers & Lakes because of Drowning? Close all Airports because of Plane Crashes? Close all Fast Food Joints because of Obescity? It will suck, but the world will be a better place.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Phil VeerkampAugust 06, 2013 - 10:58 am

    Rinky Dink LINK

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    News

    Air quality rating up in the air

    By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

     
    GDPUD: Budget and GM are top topics

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

    Mountain lion seen in Placerville

    By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

     
    CTE a pathway to higher wages, higher-demand jobs

    By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1

     
    Heard over the back fence: Earth Day at the library

    By Bob Billingsley | From Page: B1

    New top 10 fugitive could be in area

    By News Release | From Page: A3

     
    Community Action Council seeks new member

    By Health and Human Services Agency | From Page: A3

    Rattlesnake Avoidance Clinics May 3-4

    By Hangtown Kennel | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Opinion

    Belltower: El Niño or el nada?

    By Michael Raffety | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    The balancing act: Save the whales

    By Larry Weitzman | From Page: A4

    Retain Joe Harn as auditor

    By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4, 10 Comments

     
    .

    Letters

    Tell the truth, don’t confuse voters

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

     
    Local petitions circulating

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 6 Comments

    Chess club

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

     
    True Christian

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

    .

    Sports

    Sports Scene: April 20, 2014

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

     
    All Star team shows competive balance

    By Special to the Democrat | From Page: A6

    Australian rugby team visits Cameron park

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    Roundup: Cougars drop finale

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

    Red hot Rico Abreu blazes to victory

    By Gary Thomas | From Page: A6

     
    Schedule: April 21-26, 2014

    By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

    Rains to present at AMA conference

    By David Albee | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Prospecting

    Spend time in River City

    By Wendy Schultz | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    As we were: Supervisors can’t decide

    By Ken Deibert | From Page: B2

    Cantare Chorale seeks new director

    By Cantare Chorale | From Page: B3

     
    Help with healthcare decisions

    By Snowline Hospice Thrift Stores | From Page: B3

     
    Time to enter El Dorado County Fair

    By El Dorado County Fair | From Page: B3

    Volunteers needed for day of service

    By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B10

     
    .

    Essentials

    DUI Log: Feb. 28-April 3

    By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

     
    Lake levels 4-17-14

    By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

    .

    Obituaries

    Dianne Johnson

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    Michael R. Sponsler

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

    Daniel Bish Sr. funeral notice

    By Contributor | From Page: A2

     
    .

    Real Estate

    .

    Comics

    Sudoku

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

     
    Rubes

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

    American Profile Crossword

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

     
    Tundra

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

    New York Times Crossword

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

     
    Horoscope, Tuesday, April 22, 2014

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

    Horoscope, Monday, April 21, 2014

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

     
    TV Listings

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

    Speed Bump

    By Contributor | From Page: A8

     
    Shoe

    By Contributor | From Page: A8