U.S. Fish and Wildlife official says critical habitat for frogs and toads will not limit access

Yosemite Toad.  Photo by Andrew Kirk

Yosemite Toad. Photo by Andrew Kirk

Officials and citizens of Inyo and Mono have publicly opposed efforts to create Critical Habitat Designations for two types of mountain frogs and the Yosemite Toad. A U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokesman assured Sierra Wave that his agency can not and does not close these areas to public access and that current resorts would not be impacted at all. He said that’s not what Critical Habitat Designations are about.

Robert Moler of the federal Fish and Wildlife Service said the habit designation would come into play if new buildings or projects were proposed. He said even then, his agency would work with the developer to mitigate impacts. Said Moler, “This does not limit access.” He said the habit designations would have no impact on existing resorts.

To concerns that the Forest Service would use the new designations to close access or impede public recreation, Moler said he has never heard of the Forest Service using a Critical Habitat Designation to keep the public out.

So, if not to limit access or shut down activities, what is a Critical Habitat Designation about? Moler did say there is still some question about fish stocking in the upper elevations. He said that Critical Habitat Designations are about education of the public that the potentially endangered or threatened species live there.

Moler said if the Forest Service or National Park Service want to create a major project, they would have to find no impacts on the amphibians in this kind of designation; or if there are impacts, they would have to consult with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Moler repeated that these Critical Habitat Designations are about education and future development. He said, “This will not impact existing lodges at all.” Moler also pointed out that a lot of critical habitats are in Wilderness where the public does have access.

Moler was not sure if there would be public meetings in Inyo or Mono. He said the Fish and Wildlife Service is looking at the possibility. He did speak of re-opening the public comment period. In a press release from Moler and others in late April, the agency says, “All three amphibian species are threatened by habitat degradation, predation, climate change and inadequate regulatory protection.”

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8 Responses to U.S. Fish and Wildlife official says critical habitat for frogs and toads will not limit access

  1. Old Russ July 8, 2013 at 6:17 am #

    Once designated “Critical Habitat” we will find out what is written in fine print.

  2. ferdinand lopez July 7, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    frogs give you warts

  3. Big AL July 5, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    So when they outlaw fishing there, it will become a swimming hole .. when it becomes a swimming hole …. people will jeopardize the frawgs by ruining their habitat by swimming in the lake, trampling it.

    When all of this happens, then they will tell us we can not swim there, or do anything with water .. to protect the frawgs. Might as well cut to the chase, and just outlaw the lake now for any activity, put a fence up and post it!

    • Big AL July 5, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

      Yeah I know … we shouldn’t have to fense it and post it .. but you know how some people are?

  4. Tom July 4, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

    “A U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokesman assured Sierra Wave that his agency can not and does not close these areas to public access.”
    Yeah, right! Then why is the frogs “critical habitat area” in the Little Rock Creek drainage of So. Cal. closed to public access?

  5. Mark July 3, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    They didn’t address the issue most people are concerned about.

    What about the stocking and/or removal of trout in the critical habitat area?

    • Joshua Rhodes July 8, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

      I was born in Bishop in 1961 I have very young memories of fishing and catching frogs in coyote. I think it was 64 or 65 the frogs and fish did just fine together no problems at all. There were cows and sheep in coyote all the time when there was no snow. Now the frogs are dying and getting deformed the dfw is blaming the fish when the truth is a biologist brought a virus here from another country that is KILLING the fish. The goal of the people that think because the browns brookies and rainbows were planted and not native that they should be killed to heck with all the people that pay millions of dollars every year to fish. The valley can’t take much more of a decline in revenue with out all of us being affected in one way or another.

  6. Mark1971 July 3, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    Well sure, you can access the water. There just won’t be any fish in it.


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