Urgent action needed on Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog

| Rose Winn, Cal4Wheel Natural Resources Consultant | Access Issues

The US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) has proposed listing multiple sub-populations of the Yellow Legged Frog (YLF) as Threatened or Endangered. If approved, this would usher in the legal framework needed to lock up millions of acres of public land. ***Check out the map of YLF habitat from the proposal... it covers nearly the full length of CA along the Sierra Nevada and Coast ranges.

A few interesting elements to this issue include:

  • This not the first time that the YLF has been leveraged for listing and public land closures. YLFs are common throughout the western states, extreme environmentalist groups know this, thus they are a target species to list as endangered as it can serve to close or restrict access to large areas of public land.
  • The "distinct populations" of YLF that are cited as threatened or endangered are not truly that distinct. The distinctions serve to lower counts of the total population.
  • The biggest threat to YLFs is wildfire. This fact illustrates how the listing is itself counter-productive. When human access to public lands is closed or restricted due to designated habitat for the sake of an endangered species, activities such as logging, grazing, prescribed burns, and other methods that thin the forests are decreased or halted completely. In California, 6.2 million acres of land was burned by catastrophic wildfire in 2020 and 2021, much of that acreage overlaps with YLF habitat. Effective protection of the YLF should take the form of thinning overgrown forests to prevent future wildfires. The fact that wildfire is the real threat to YLFs exposes the farce of the agenda.

How can you help? Please submit a comment to FWS to oppose the proposed listing. Our friends at BlueRibbon Coalition have made it easy to do - just click on the Action Alert from this link: https://www.sharetrails.org/action-center/#/49. When submitting comments, please consider customizing it... add something about your own experience... before submitting. While a volume of comments is excellent in and of itself, the FWS receives all "carbon copy" comments as a single comment. If you change yours up... even with just one sentence!... the FWS must receive it as a unique comment. Comments close on March 30, 2022.

If you want to know more about the proposed listing of the YLF, check out the proposal announcement, or the full proposal document.

Distinct population segments considered for Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog

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