Kevin Barry: Habitat designation limits access to public land

03/11/2014 5:31 PM

03/11/2014 5:34 PM

Tuesday was the third deadline for the habitat designation for the yellow-legged frog and the Yosemite toad.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service want to designate close to 2 million acres of the Sierra to recreation, fishing, timber harvest and fuel reduction, of all things. These things have little effect, if any, on the amphibians as you can find in USFWS studies on the matter. The real culprit here is a fungus called the BD fungus, which is affecting amphibians worldwide.

There is a possible vaccine, but the USFWS would rather use this as yet another excuse to exclude the public from its own lands. The other major factor in the decline is the stocking of non-native fish, which has been stopped. They have even instituted a program of killing off the unwanted fish, and they are almost done.

With good commentary, we have moved the deadlines twice now and would like them to just drop the matter since the designation will not change the outcome for the animals. Please submit comments to: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM, Arlington, VA 22203; Attn: Public Comments Processing FWS-R8-ES-2012-0100 and 0074 Division of Policy and Directives Management.

KEVIN BARRY

Mariposa

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