The U.S. Interior Department wants to declare 2 million acres in 14 counties in the mostly eastern Sierra as critical habitat for the yellow legged frog and the Yosemite toad, which they claim are endangered species.
If they are successful, they will, because they can, close that entire area to human use. No more hiking, fishing, boating, logging, mining or any other human activity a devastating economic impact for those who live in the Sierra in an area east of the valley from Bakersfield to Red Bluff, and the Sierra gateway cities like Oakdale, Merced and Stockton with their loss of tourist revenue.
Farms, ranches and orchards will be affected because with the federal government mismanagement of the land they currently control we presently estimate about 1 million acre-feet of water is lost from the Sierra annually. Want to say something about it? Congressman Tom McClintock is holding a hearing Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the fairgrounds in Sonora.
Editor's Note: The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is accepting public comment through Nov. 18 on the proposals to list these animals as endangered and to see the proposals. More information is available at www.fws.gov/sacramento/outreach/2013/07-18/docs/QA-Sierra%20Amphibians%20reopen%20PC%20pLpCH-2013jul17%20FINAL.pdf.