Hello, fellow anglers. I want to bring to your attention a bill that is being proposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (Docket No. FSW-R8-ES-2012-0100) As it reads, “We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service... propose to list the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog and the northern distinct population segment (DPS) of the mountain yellow-legged frog (populations that occur north of the Tehachapi Mountains) as endangered species, and the Yosemite Toad as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act).”
The effect on this regulation would be to add the species to the list of Endangered Species and Threatened Wildlife under the act.
You can read the entire bill by going to http://federalregistration.gov.a/2013-09600. I will warn you ahead of time, it is a long read. It is important for all anglers and outdoor enthusiasts to read this bill. What it proposes to do, other than to place these species on the endangered list, is to close partial public lands and hiking trails and to eliminate planting of non-native trout in rivers and lakes. This would include the planting of trout by the California Department of Fish and Game and private stocking permits in as many as 27 counties in California. Alpine County is listed as one of the counties in this bill. To give you an idea of the extent of the depredation this would do to small communities and local businesses by this time next year, if the Alpine County Fish Commission and the CDFG could not plant any of the rivers and lakes with trout in Alpine County, and many of the back country was closed to public access, I feel that more than 60 percent of the resorts, restaurants and small shops would have to close their doors. Tourism is the heartbeat of small town USA, and that window is only a few months out of the year for most to survive. I believe in protecting our wildlife, but what I do not believe in is taking away public recreation.
Public comments must be received by March 11. Now is the time to make your voice be heard, there likely won’t be another opportunity. I urge you all to read the proposal carefully, and send a letter expressing your views on this important issue. Send your letter to: Public Comments Processing, Attn: FWS-R8-ES-2012-0100 and FWS-R8-ES-2012-0074, Division of Policy and Directives Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM, Arlington, VA 22203.
Good fishin’ and tight lines.