(MESSAGE FROM THE US FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE)
Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it will provide Endangered Species Act protections to four of the six geographically and genetically distinct population segments (DPS) of the foothill yellow-legged frog. After reviewing the best scientific and commercial information available, the Service determined endangered status for the South Sierra DPS and South Coast DPS and threatened status for the North Feather DPS and Central Coast DPS of the foothill yellow-legged frog.
The foothill yellow-legged frog, named for its yellow belly and underside of its rear legs, is found from Oregon to southern California. While wide-ranging, the amphibian faces multiple threats, including altered waterflows related to water infrastructure, including dams and diversions; competition with and predation by non-native species such as bullfrogs and crayfish; disease; precipitation and temperature changes related to climate change; high-severity wildfires; water-related recreation; and habitat conversion and degradation.
The Service is including a 4(d) rule for the North Feather DPS and Central Coast DPS that excepts take incidental to habitat restoration projects and forest fuels management activities that reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire.(EDITOR’S NOTE: THESE EXCEPTIONS ARE OF VALUE TO LOGGERS.) The Service will propose critical habitat later this year.
A copy of the final decision will publish in the Federal Register on Tuesday, August 29, 2023, and is available in the Reading Room today. The public can review the final listing and read supporting information at www.regulations.gov by searching Docket Number FWS–R8–ES–2021–0108. The effective date for the final rule will be Thursday, September 28, 2023.
Please let me know if you have any questions. I can provide a map depicting the range for each of the 6 DPSs for your reference.
Meghan Snow (she/her)
Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office