Local officials say federal action to save toads, frogs will jeopardize recreation

Yosemite toad depends on habitat cover.

Eastern Sierra officials have called the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service move to designate critical habitat for frogs and toads a “premature” move that will “unduly harm our society, culture, and economy.” The last day to comment is today by 9pm, although public meetings will likely happen here later. Comment now at this website: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=FWS-R8-ES-2012-0074

The federal government has proposed designating what they call Critical Habitat for the Sierra Nevada Yellow-Legged Frog, the Mountain Yellow-Legged frog, and the Yosemite Toad. These amphibians eat insects and are eaten by birds and mammals. In short, they are considered an important part of the chain of life in the mountains. The Fish and Wildlife Service has determined they are endangered with the need to set aside habitat to protect them and the need to stop planting trout in certain lakes and streams.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThat determination flies in the face of Eastern Sierra tourism and use of the mountains, according to local officials. A letter from the Inyo Supervisors says, “Critical habitat may only be proposed based on the best available scientific data after taking into consideration economic impacts of the designation as well as other considerations such as the social impacts of such a listing.” The letter also says that the Board believes that the proposed critical habitat areas are “overly expansive.” The Board’s letter says they believe that the frogs and toads could prosper with less habitat area.

The Bishop Chamber of Commerce said that the proposed habitat areas would include Rock Creek Lake, Mt. Tom, the Bishop Creek Drainage, Coyote Flat, Big Pine Creek drainage and Onion Valley. Their letter says fishing, camping, hiking and trail riding could be impacted. Jared Smith of Parchers Resort said businesses associated with the restricted areas in the Bishop Creek drainage would “fade away.”

The Inyo Supervisors’ letter says according to the federally proposed rules, the frogs and toads are being impacted “primarily by climate change, pollution and infection” and only marginally by recreation, grazing, packers, fire management and roads. The Board’s letter questions the removal of fish from the critical habitat areas.

The Board asserts that “We know it is possible to protect the habitat for these amphibians without destroying the economy of our county.” They call the proposed habitats “over-reaching” and the wrong solution. The Board said the habitat proposed is not necessary to “preserve healthy and enduring populations of the proposed species.”

Work by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began on the frogs and toads at least six years ago and requires some type of decision by the end of September of this year.

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Jason
Jason
8 years ago

Benett, First I want to apologize for my rant. As always however, supposedly minor issues are really the tip of a much larger iceburg. After reading the posts, I think it is interesting how saving species at our expense or taking responsibility for our (human) contribution to global climate change… Read more »

Friends of Cash
Friends of Cash
8 years ago
Reply to  Jason

Jason, Perhaps you should take your own advise…? Are you “seeing only what you want to see as well?” Sorry to be the one to break it to ya, but your ruts are just as deep as these people you point your finger at – the “deniers” as you call… Read more »

Jason
Jason
8 years ago

Cash, So you think I’m a little worked up? 🙂 I do not think I understand what you mean by: “climb down from your cross.” Am I being ‘self-sacrificing’? Am I guilty of ‘seeing only what I want to see?’ Maybe. I will tell you that I believe in scientific… Read more »

J-Frog
J-Frog
8 years ago
Reply to  Jason

Well said Jason, I really like the point in your last paragraph (On which wrong is a worse consequence). “Am I seeing only what I want to see?” That is another strong point! I will admit it, I really don’t have a strong understanding of these particular species, but I… Read more »

Bob
Bob
8 years ago

Anyone here could educate themselves about the MYLF by reading Roland Knapp’s research on the frogs. I know Roland isn’t the popular in some circles, however I think he’s research is solid and detailed with facts. Anyone willing to take 20 minutes and read what Roland has posted online could… Read more »

Gina
Gina
8 years ago

People are not affecting the frog. They get the fungus from the chorus frogs. How will keeping people out of “critical habitat” areas going to help? Also, the frogs/toads have been seen to travel 145 miles in a 5 day period…how will Fish and Wildlife keep them in their critical… Read more »

salblaster
salblaster
8 years ago

the salinity in the owens lake was very high when it was full and i doubt any frog could live in it. there are freshwater springs along the edges of the dry lake that have frogs in them today. last summer i went out looking for the pup fish that… Read more »

J-Frog
J-Frog
8 years ago
Reply to  salblaster

Yeah the salinity was the avenue they used to act like the water was useless once it hit the lake, that’s a old argument that is pro LADWP. “Yuck!”

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago
Reply to  salblaster

Pup fish live every where around the eastern sierras and beyond … They are not endangered like some think … there are many strains of them some say, yet they are pup fish that live in all of these areas, it just so happens, they live in certain areas, they… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

This doesn’t mean .. just let them go away, we need to preserve, but we need to recognize that they are actually a lil more hardy than some lead us to believe. Jerry, you’re right we do need make a difference, make changes, we can help, but have some sense… Read more »

Mountains and molehills
Mountains and molehills
8 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

“…Mass hysteria” – Big Al?!!

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Here’s what the World Wildlife Fund Global has to say: “Scientists were startled in 1980 by the discovery of a tremendous diversity of insects in tropical forests. In one study of just 19 trees in Panama, 80% of the 1,200 beetle species discovered were previously unknown to science… Surprisingly, scientists… Read more »

J-Frog
J-Frog
8 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

I’m lovin this thread right now, and the recent mobile upgrade..
Thanks Benett 🙂
Big Al, I was missing your two cents for awhile man, nice to hear your view on this.

Mike
Mike
8 years ago

This a knee jerk reaction from the U.S. Forest Service. They’ve been sued over & over because of the frog….. Try doing searches about any of these issues: the yellow-legged frog, road closures, wilderness, erosion, endangered & add “lawsuit” & see what happens.
Case in point:
http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/amphibians/Sierra_Nevada_mountain_yellow-legged_frog/action_timeline.html

Sierra Nevada Yellow-Legged Frog
Sierra Nevada Yellow-Legged Frog
8 years ago

Hey! No one asked us what we think! We frogs are sick and tired of your biologists sticking needles into us and dissecting our friends. Back the F off! If we need your help we will ask. Stop spending money and time trying to study us. We don’t want your… Read more »

miss piggy
miss piggy
8 years ago

We know it’s you Kermit; put the bong down and get some help.

Tourbillon
Tourbillon
8 years ago

No no my little Sierra Nevada Yellow-Legged Frog, you are overreacting. The feds aren’t actually planning to stick needles into you or dissect you.

The feds are just collecting metadata on you to help them connect a few dots. For your own security and protection.

J-Frog
J-Frog
8 years ago

Hilarious! And so juvenile at the same time, but you have some good points. But “we” the bullfrog community think we do need the humans help, we need them to stop thinking their lives are so much more important then ours, money will never be the answer, for it is… Read more »

19bishop56
19bishop56
8 years ago

Ok, J-frog how long have you been in the Inyo-Mono Area?

tim
tim
8 years ago
Reply to  19bishop56

56, What was Bishop and the Owens like in 1956; I am not in the area yet like it and enjoy visiting. Has it changed much in 57 years? What is worse? Is there anything that has improved? Do new people cause problems? What is the best way for a… Read more »

J-Frog
J-Frog
8 years ago
Reply to  19bishop56

My whole 28 year life with the exception of a couple of years, Now what relevance does that have since that was your only question? since you ask that, NONE of us Living right now really have a idea what the city of LA has done to OUR valley! we… Read more »

Bob
Bob
8 years ago

Eastern Sierra officials are clearly out of their area of expertise if they think the move to designate critical habitat for frogs and toads a “premature”. It’s actually way late in coming. Rock Creek Lake is prime winter tadpole habitate and the surrounding area is excellent frog habitate. The fish… Read more »

MJA
MJA
8 years ago

The only Nature in need of management is ourselves. =

J-Frog
J-Frog
8 years ago

Yes it is necessary to to preserve all vital wildlife and life supporting systems, But when will we learn we need to put our convenience last, rather then first, if we really want to help the environment and habitats around us we need to take a look at what we… Read more »

tim
tim
8 years ago

Did any frogs die when LA drained the 100 square mile Owens Lake?

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
8 years ago
Reply to  tim

Not only did frogs die and not only in Owens lake, but also consider the lower Owens River. This maligned eco system is now in recovery. The human endeavors now necessary to restablish what was there before, will unfortunately always be a source of derision between the humans and their… Read more »

John Barton
John Barton
8 years ago

Core samples from glaciers show ice ages occur roughly every 10,000 years. The bristlecone pine tree ring data point to 50-70 year long droughts. These amphibians survived then and will likely survive now. The CA Dept of Fish and Wildlife has already undertaken habitat preservation in the backcountry. I think… Read more »

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  John Barton

I more or less agree with you. better to let the cycles of nature work themselves out. Fire control being a good example. Too much fire suppression ultimately leads to huge fires. About the periodicity of the ice ages: http://blog.world-mysteries.com/science/climate-and-ice-ages/ “The past ten ice ages have been cycling at 100… Read more »

J-Frog
J-Frog
8 years ago
Reply to  John Barton

@John Barton,
But can they or this planet survive a human mindset that “anything we do on this planet will eventually fix itself” and when it does fix itself “I will no longer be around” Mindset?

John Barton
John Barton
8 years ago
Reply to  J-Frog

Probably. Let’s not forget humans are part of the planet too. We rose up on our ability to thrive and survive on the backs of other species and at the expense and even extinction of others. When it will result in our own undoing to the point roaches will inherit… Read more »

Bob
Bob
8 years ago
Reply to  John Barton

The fungus might be beyond our control but the stocking of invasive tadpole eating trout is within our control.

Trout removal should start at Rock Creek Lake. It’s the perfect habitate for the tadpole.

Joe
Joe
8 years ago
Reply to  Bob

Bob- What are your qualifications to state Rock Creek Lake is the perfect “habitate” for the tadpole? There are lakes that already have had fish removed. I know of a lake where large golden trout and frogs coexist and have for decades because the inlet area is shallow and has… Read more »

Bob
Bob
8 years ago
Reply to  Bob

Joe – Qualifications? As with everyone on this forum qualifications are not necessary to state ones opinion. So you say you know of a like where tadpoles coexist and have for decades because the inlet area is shallow and has lots of reed type plants that shelter tadpole. Well that’s… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Bob

Not disagreeing with your post, except it seems like frogs function in connection with nature – creating their tadpoles in summer so they can hatch out and carry on.
Have never seen tadpoles around in the winter, but then I spend a lot of time in the newsroom.
Benett Kessler

J-Frog
J-Frog
8 years ago
Reply to  John Barton

Yes humans are part of the planet, BUT the way humans have been treating the planet in the last 150 years is unprecedented! It’s Okay, People will always convince themselves there is nothing they need to do to help things for the better. Beyond Our control? It seems to me… Read more »

John Barton
John Barton
8 years ago
Reply to  J-Frog

As a collective society I think we’ve come a long ways just in the past 30 years in changing our ways because in some cases we’ve had to. The earth and its inhabitants including humans are fairly adaptive. When we consume too much of something, we start to recycle it,… Read more »

Joe
Joe
8 years ago
Reply to  J-Frog

J-Frog- “We” are already doing something in that the state has undertaken an aggressive plan to help the frogs which I’m all in favor of. The extent of the proposed habitat is much too large at this point and yes, premature in that it hasn’t been determined if the state’s… Read more »

J-Frog
J-Frog
8 years ago
Reply to  J-Frog

Yes John I agree we have come along way in many aspects (medicine, technology, worldwide communication, etc.) I don’t see how you feel good about the way we use resources, not everybody recycles and not everything is recyclable, but we still ask of that demand to be met no matter… Read more »

J-Frog
J-Frog
8 years ago
Reply to  J-Frog

Joe,
“Are doing something” “much too large at this point”
Yeah give me a break! To me that means you are doing NOTHING at this point but wasting resources with meetings and just meetings..
It’s not just about the frog’s? Right??????

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago
Reply to  J-Frog

Yes I get what you’re saying Jerry, totally. We do need to do things differently, and there are so many stumbling blocks people throw down … especially from the business world, the elite business owners. And you will never get everyone on the same page, and that goes with anything… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Do you have studies and evidence to prove your assertions?
Benett Kessler

J-Frog
J-Frog
8 years ago
Reply to  J-Frog

Thanks for weighing in with a thumbs down, but care to explain why? until I hear a better argument or stance I will feel I am right! (Thank You, Thank You, I will be here all week!) Anybody really think it’s in our kids and Grand kids best interest to… Read more »

Trying to understand conservatives
Trying to understand conservatives
8 years ago
Reply to  J-Frog

J-Frog – If you have not noticed, this blog has more than its share of so-called “Conservatives.” But it is unclear just what it is conservatives claim to be conserving. They are not a unifying group and seem angst-filled about … everything. One of the conservative’s most famous spokespersons Rush… Read more »

J-Frog
J-Frog
8 years ago

Another Limbaugh reference? I “assume” I know the audience also, BUT the Owens, Inyo and Mono valleys are filled with my Friends, Family and community members that I wouldn’t trade for no city, putting them in the same category as limbaugh is “no bueno”. Both parties are a joke, except… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago

There’s our Dr Facts, and the R word .. hehe

duh
duh
8 years ago
Reply to  John Barton

habitate restoration is a waste of effort unless fish are removed from deep water lakes to allow MYLF tadpoles to survive the winter.

Rock Creek Lake is a perfect lake for trout removal. The meadow above and below are excellent habitate for the frog.

What do conservatives conserve?
What do conservatives conserve?
8 years ago
Reply to  duh

When right-winger J-Frog chides us with “…the stats paint a obvious picture” (regarding more thumbs down than up on his posting) it is clear the “obvious picture” is that today’s group of people who call themselves “conservatives” spend their waking days on blogs such as this and listening to the… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago

Please focus on something besides Rush Limbaugh. We get what you think of him.
Benett Kessler

Conservatives and race
Conservatives and race
8 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

With 2 thumbs-up and 18 thumbs-down (re: a Limbaugh expose’ [actual quotes], I would say it is clear how the majority of your posters on this blog think of him (Limbaugh). A dangerous situation in America exists because of this. Ignoring this phenomenon is no different than in Germany when… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago

I get what you’re saying. And, hammering people over the head with it is not an effective way of communication.

Tourbillon
Tourbillon
8 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Perhaps the overwhelmingly negative reaction to your constant anti-Limbaugh posts has less to do with a communal love for Limbaugh, and more to do with communal disgust for a perpetual crank who can’t get past a deranged and all too publicly expressed obsession.

J-Frog
J-Frog
8 years ago

Did the writer with many names just call my a right winger?? You know what? it seems you listen to Rush Limbaugh the most, and have some fascination with the man for his name to roll of your tongue so fluently and freely! The stats I was talking about was… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago

Dr Facts .. spends his days foaming at the mouth, and trying to incite people to join his misery .. how is that change working for you .. how are you working to bring about change with that?

I fish everyday
I fish everyday
8 years ago

The board is acting like DFW are no longer stocking fish in the Eastern Sierra.

Get over it, there are plenty of other places to fish.

NewDay
NewDay
8 years ago

I had hoped for better from the new board – someone who was in the Peace Corps and another a tribal member. Shame on them. All species are intterrelated – as the frogs go, so go the humans and the earth. “The Board said it is not necessary to “preserve… Read more »

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  NewDay

The Board’s letter does not say that. It says, “This over-reaching proposal is exactly the wrong solution for the people in our County, and is not necessary to preserve healthy and enduring populations of the proposed species.”

Benett Kessler

NewDay
NewDay
8 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

Thank you for your clarification. I didn’t make up what I quoted – I quoted it directly from your article.

Benett Kessler
Benett Kessler
8 years ago
Reply to  NewDay

I should have made it more clear. By saying the Board felt “it” was not necessary to preserve the frog and toad populations, I was referring to the proposed habitat plan. I have made that more clear now.
Thanks, Benett

Mark
Mark
8 years ago
Reply to  Benett Kessler

The board lacks the expertise to make such a claim.

and as someone said there are still plenty of other places to fish.

Rock Creek Lake would make excellent frog habitate.

JVC
JVC
8 years ago
Reply to  NewDay

The number one issue affecting all creation on planet earth is the unfettered reproduction of human beings. With no natural predators other than ourselves, technological and medical advancements, increasing life spans, etc., the logical outcome will be a massive shift in the historic relationship between mankind and mother nature. Only… Read more »

Bye bye Mankind
Bye bye Mankind
8 years ago
Reply to  JVC

Right on JVC! Excellent research on the subject and presentation of facts. Mankind is slowly and insidiously on the way out. This appears to be the natural order of things. We’re seeing many examples of man’s compelling ignorance politically with one group of people perpetually thinking they are superior to… Read more »

Mark
Mark
8 years ago
Reply to  JVC

Throw in to the equation that unedcated and poor people are having more babies then educationed people. Then consider in California the state pays for most baby births and we are screwed.

I’ve always said a little birth control would go a long ways.

a minor correction
a minor correction
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

Mark –

“Bless the beasts and the children.
For in this world they have no choice –
They have no voice.”

And with all due respect –
you’ve misspelled uneducated and also with due respect – “educationed” is also misspelled.

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Mark

You’ve all touched on the foundation theme of the movie, “Idiocracy” which is both hilarious and prophetic.

Big AL
Big AL
8 years ago
Reply to  JVC

Good word!