About 100 Inyo and Mono residents gathered Monday to discuss the proposed endangered and threatened species designations and critical habitat designations for the yellow-legged frogs and Yosemite toad. Representatives from the USFWS, California DFW and Forest Service were in attendance at the special Board of Supervisors Meeting. Photo by Mike Gervais
Residents of the Eastern Sierra gathered Monday to speak with state and federal representatives who are proposing to list more than 2,000 acres of the Sierra as critical habitat for the yellow legged frog and Yosemite toad.
Inyo National Forest Supervisor Ed Armenta, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Desert Area Assistant Field Supervisor Carl Benz, California Department of Fish and Wildlife Environmental Scientist and Fisheries Biologist James Erdman, Jr. and California Fish and Wildlife Habitat Conservation Supervisor Heidi Sickler attended to answer what questions they could Monday.
The meeting kicked off with a rundown of the Endangered Species Act of 1974 by Benz, followed by a presentation from Armenta, who said that the Forest Service is at odds with some of the USFWS findings on the frogs and toads. Armenta said that the Forest Service feels that recreation and cattle grazing are compatible with the frogs and toad, and asked that the USFWS remove them from a list of threats to the amphibians.
Following the presentations from state and federal officials, the floor was turned over to residents who wished to address the various agencies or ask questions.
(Read more in the Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013 edition of The Inyo Register.)