Last year, the Obomba Administration, i.e. unelected bureaucrats, set aside nearly 2 million acres of land in California in order to protect a few different varieties of Frog-Americans. These Frog-Americans have been declared “endangered” by the government and so to prevent them from disappearing, 1.8 million acres, or over 3000 square miles, has been deemed off-limits to activity by Human-Americans. Ranchers and loggers are now facing the threat of losing their livelihoods to some frogs and are filing a lawsuit challenging that rule.
1500 square miles isn’t enough to protect the Frog-Americans? How about 2000? They really need to be able to hop around unfettered on over 3000 square miles or no one will ever see them again? I have a hard time believing that.
Also, what is the definition of endangered? How low must the population be to earn that designation? If a section of some government employees’ jobs depend on identifying “endangered” species, is it conceivable there might be some motivation to fudge counts for job security? Let’s not pretend that the ranchers and loggers are the only ones looking out for their own self-interest here.
From the Sacramento Bee:
Tiny frogs and toads used to swarm over the Sierra Nevada. Now, the government says nearly 2 million acres of land needs to be preserved to prevent them from going extinct.
California ranchers and logging groups say those protections are hurting their ability to make a living. So another conflict over the Endangered Species Act is going to court.
The California Farm Bureau and two ranchers’ associations sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Monday, challenging a year-old decision to designate more than 1.8 million acres of rural California as “critical habitat” for three species of frogs and toads that are protected by the Endangered Species Act.
Loggers and ranchers who harvest timber or graze cattle on public lands worry the new restrictions on land use will eventually make it more difficult – if not impossible – to make a living in the Sierra, said Shaun Crook, a Tuolumne County cattle rancher whose family also owns a logging company.
“It has the economic impact of putting you out of business is what that reality could be,” said Crook, president of the Tuolumne County Farm Bureau.Even though the designation was made a year ago, Crook said federal officials haven’t yet told him how the protections will affect his cattle, which graze on federal lands. But he said he and other ranchers worry that major tracts of land will be put off limits or they’ll be required to install fencing around protected areas.
The case affects a wide swath of the Sierra Nevada region, from Lassen to Inyo counties. It includes portions of Placer and El Dorado counties. Most of the land is owned by the government and is in designated wilderness areas, where the “highest level of conservation protection” on federal land is required, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service.
The critical habitat designation subjects farmers “to substantial regulatory burdens that impose, among other things, study costs, risk assessments, mitigation fees, operational changes, permit fees, and consulting expenses,” said the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. “In some cases, these burdens put the rancher’s livelihood at risk.” The farm groups are represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation, a Sacramento nonprofit that fights for conservative and property-rights causes.
…Farm groups also opposed the 2014 decision, but environmentalists have long-argued that the frogs need extra protections in order to survive.
“Other habitat management, like livestock grazing in some areas, has an impact, and of course climate change and drought can impact them as well,” said Jenny Loda, a staff attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. If land is overgrazed, the vegetation might not hide the frogs from predators, she said.
Loda called the farm groups’ lawsuit “a mean-spirited attack against these really vulnerable frogs and the toad.”
“That’s so mean!” is not a good enough reason to threaten someone’s job and ability to provide for themselves and their family. It just isn’t.
Much more at the link.