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Our Mission: “Working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.” . Goals for today: Proposals to protect Sierra amphibians. Describe what’s proposed

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Our Mission:

“Working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.”

Goals for today: Proposals to protect Sierra amphibians

  • Describe what’s proposed

  • Discuss the timeline and opportunities for public involvement

  • Identify the types of information we need and how you can participate

  • Answer your questions

Listing/Critical Habitat Process

  • Petition or proposal to list

  • FWS solicits information -- best available scientific and commercial information

  • 12-month finding; if warranted:

    • Proposal to List

    • Proposal to designate Critical Habitat

    • Solicit public comment

    • Revise proposals

  • Publish final Listing and Critical Habitat Rules


2000: Petitioned by the Center for Biological Diversity and Pacific Rivers Council to list the Sierra Nevada population of the mountain yellow-legged frog and Yosemite toad as endangered and designate critical habitat.

2002 and 2003: Found listing toad and frog warranted but precluded. Species placed on the candidate list.

2008: Mountain yellow-legged frogs in the northern Sierra were established as a separate species (the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog) from the mountain yellow-legged frogs of the southern Sierras.

2011: FWS enters into global settlement to address listing backlog for over 200 species, including Sierra amphibians.

  • April 24, 2013 – Two Proposed Rules:

  • To add 3 amphibians to the Endangered Species List

    • Yosemite toad

    • Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog

    • Northern Distinct Population Segment of mountain yellow-legged frog

  • To designate Critical Habitat to promote their recovery

    • 1,831,820 acres across 17 counties

    • Mostly on federal land

Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog and Northern Distinct Population Segment of the mountain yellow-legged frog

  • Historically abundant across much of the higher elevations within the Sierra Nevada.

  • Currently restricted to publicly managed lands at high elevations.

  • Threats:

    • Habitat degradation and fragmentation

    • predation and disease

    • changes in temperature and precipitation

    • inadequate regulatory protections

  • Recreation is not considered a significant threat.

Yosemite toad

  • Found at high elevations (5-12,000 ft) from Alpine County to Fresno County.

  • Mainly on federal land.

  • Population declines throughout its range.

  • Threats: habitat degradationand loss due to conifer encroachment and historical grazing.

  • Recreation is not considered a significant threat.


Endangered Any species in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

Mountain yellow-legged frog

Threatened Any species likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future.

Yosemite Toad

Critical HabitatSpecific geographic areas with physical and biological features essential to the conservation of a listed species.

Critical habitat

The designation of critical habitatalerts the public and federal agencies to areas and features that are important for the recovery of the species.

Proposed Critical Habitat for 3 Sierra Amphibians

The actions of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to designate critical habitatdo not close or restrict access to public lands.

If critical habitatremains functional, and threats to the species are relieved, the species has a chance to recover.

Fresno County Proposed Critical Habitat-Total Acres: 574,882-Total Federal Acres: 574,105-Non Federal Acres: 777-Total Acres in Wilderness: 479,737

Economic Analysis

  • The Endangered Species Act requires that critical habitat is designated based upon the best scientific and commercial data available, after taking into consideration the economic impact, impact on national security, or any other relevant impact of specifying any particular area as critical habitat.

  • The intent of the draft economic analysis is to identify and analyze the potential economic impacts associated with the proposed critical habitat designation for the species.

3 Sierra Amphibians

Draft Economic Analysis Overview

Identifies and analyzes the potential economic impacts associated with designating critical habitat over the next 17 years.

Concludes impacts consist primarily of costs associated with federal agency consultation.

3 Sierra Amphibians

Draft Economic Analysis Overview

Quantifies economic impacts of conservation efforts associated with:

Fish stocking

Dams and water diversions


Fuels management

Timber harvests


Habitat and species management

3 Sierra Amphibians

Draft Economic Analysis Overview

Low end scenario:

Dams and water diversions - 75%

Grazing - 8%

Timber harvest activities - 5%

High end scenario:

Timber harvest activities - 49%

Dams and water diversions - 32%

Grazing activities – 15%

3 Sierra Amphibians

Draft Economic Analysis Overview

Small business impacts:

4 small businesses in dams and water diversions

358 small entities in timber harvests

=~4 small businesses impacted per year (small impact of costs of consultation)

3 Sierra Amphibians Overview

proposed listing, critical habitat, and DEA


  • Apr 25, 2013: Two proposed rules to list and designate critical habitat

  • Apr 25 – Jun 24, 2013: First public comment period: 60 days

  • Jul 18 – Nov 18, 2013: Second public comment period: 120 days

  • Jan 10, 2014: USFWS made available to the public a draft economic analysis of the proposed critical habitat rule.

  • Third public comment period (60 days – closes March 11, 2014)

  • Public hearing in Sacramento January 30, 2014:

  • The Sacramento Horsemen’s Association; 3200 Longview Drive; Sacramento, CA 95821.

  • The first hearing session will start at 1:00 p.m. with doors opening at 12:30.

  • A second hearing session will start at 6:00 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30.


Winter/Spring 2014

Review all public comments received during the public comment periods

Review and address the expert opinions of independent scientific experts

Apr, 2014: Anticipated publication of final rules

Requested Information

  • Biological, commercial trade, or other relevant data concerning any threats (or lack thereof) to these species, and regulations that may be addressing those threats.

  • Additional information concerning the historical and current status, range, distribution, and population size of these species.

  • Any information on the biological or ecological requirements of these species, and ongoing conservation measures for these species and their habitats.

  • The factors that are the basis for making a listing determination for a species under section 4(a) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which are:

    • The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range;

    • Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes;

    • Disease or predation;

    • The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or

    • Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence.

  • The reasons why we should or should not designate habitat as critical habitat for these species.

  • For a more complete list of requested information, please visit www.fws.gov/sacramento

How to Submit Comments:

Comments can be submitted online at the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

The Docket Number for the proposed listing rule is FWS–R8–ES–2012–0100 and the proposed critical habitat rule is FWS–R8–ES–2012–0074.

Comments can also be sent by U.S. mail to:

Public Comments Processing

FWS–R8–ES–2012–0100 or FWS–R8–ES–2012–0074

Division of Policy and Directives Management

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042-PDM

Arlington, VA 22203

Verbal comments will be recorded during the public hearing. Written comments can be accepted during any of the public comment periods.

  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation.

  • For more information on these proposals, please visit www.fws.gov/sacramento/newsroom.htm

  • For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov/cno

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