In May 2015 I submitted this letter on behalf of SAVE THE FROGS! members in California, across the USA and around the world, expressing our support for increasing the protections afforded to the Coast Dairies property in California, and specifically calling on politicians to designate the land as part a national monument, so as to ensure permanent protections for the property’s biodiversity.
On January 12th, 2017, President Barack Obama issued this proclamation declaring that Cotoni-Coast Dairies and important nearby areas are now included in the California Coastal National Monument, stating “The threatened California red-legged frog uses many of the waterways and water sources here, along with a wide range of other amphibians and reptiles.”
California Red-Legged Frog Egg Mass
Excerpts from President Obama’s proclamation:
“WHEREAS, it is in the public interest to preserve the objects of scientific and historic interest on the public lands of Trinidad Head, Waluplh-Lighthouse Ranch, Lost Coast Headlands, Cotoni-Coast Dairies, Piedras Blancas, and Orange County Rocks and Islands;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by section 320301 of title 54, United States Code, hereby proclaim the objects identified above that are situated upon lands and interests in lands owned or controlled by the Federal Government to be part of the California Coastal National Monument and, for the purpose of protecting those objects, reserve as part thereof all lands and interests in lands owned or controlled by the Federal Government within the boundaries described on the accompanying maps, which are attached hereto and form a part of this proclamation. The Orange County Rocks and Islands shall be managed as part of the original offshore area of the monument, and the remainder of the lands shall be known as the Trinidad Head, Waluplh-Lighthouse Ranch, Lost Coast Headlands, Cotoni-Coast Dairies, and Piedras Blancas units of the monument, respectively. These reserved Federal lands and interests in lands encompass approximately 6,230 acres. The boundaries described on the accompanying maps are confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected.
Warning is hereby given to all unauthorized persons not to appropriate, injure, destroy, or remove any feature of the monument and not to locate or settle upon any of the lands thereof.”
California Red-Legged Frogs (Rana draytonii) albino photo courtesy of Don Alley.
Grey Hayes, Ph.D. led the campaign to protect Cotoni-Coast Dairies and has also served as a facilitator in several amphibian workshops I have taken part in over the years. Grey said of SAVE THE FROGS’ involvement:
“SAVE THE FROGS! was important in informing the President about the importance of adding protection to specific sensitive natural resources on the property. These resources were not included in the Congressional proposal to designate the Monument, but our work together provided scientific documentation that enabled the President to justify including them in his designation. This included naming the California red-legged frog and other amphibians and reptiles as reasons for designating the area as a National Monument. The proclamation also requires that a management plan be prepared that protects those species before public access is allowed -- guaranteeing a balanced approach between access and preservation."
Frog art by from the SAVE THE FROGS! Art Contest by Amanda Wilson
Victory for amphibians in California! The United States Fish and Wildlife Service declared nearly 3,000 square miles in the Sierra Nevada mountains as critical habitat for the mountain yellow-legged frog, Sierra Madre yellow-legged frog and the Yosemite toad. These three endangered amphibian species face an array of threats including pesticides, infectious diseases and predation by invasive trout species. This newly secured habitat will give these amazing amphibians the much needed protection they deserve.
Many thanks to the wonderful SAVE THE FROGS! supporters who sent in letters of support when the USFWS held a public comment period for listing this area as endangered amphibian species habitat. Learn more about this exciting victory here.
Mountain Yellow-legged Frogs in Amplexus. Photo by Vance Vredenburg.
The City of Santa Cruz Water Department partnered with the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County to present an amphibian conservation themed walk and talk at Loch Lomond Recreation Area on Save The Frogs Day! They passed around exciting amphibian conservation educational material and learned about some of the invasive species that threaten California’s native ecosystems.
"I organized the event to be held at Effie Yeaw Nature Center in Carmichael, CA. I had three tables, one for the STF paraphernalia, one for kids coloring and education, and one for face painting. I had a volunteer, Cody, who assisted with the main STF table and distributing material while I was overseeing the other 2 tables.
The kids station had the following: pictures of various frogs to color, photos of frogs, books and educational material. The nature center also provided us with a bullfrog in a tank and pacific chorus frog tadpoles in another. This served as an educational tool as well to discuss how bullfrogs are a danger to other native species.
At the third table, I stationed a hired girl who painted frogs on the kids faces (the adults wanted them too!). I also set out handmade cupcakes to sell in order to add to the profit making for the organization. This was a popular addition. The nature center staff had amphibians, reptiles and birds to show people that came by our table.
Overall, it was a great success. Many people that came by our table were unaware of the threats frogs are facing and were very receptive to listening."
- Sara T, Save The Frogs Day Event Organizer
"Our third SAVE THE FROGS! bake sale fundraiser was a success. We set up our information and baked goods table in a local shopping center in north Auburn, California. Once again, our assortment of lemon bars and cookies were a hit – along with our rescue-dog mascot, the “Frog Dog”, Tazz. We’re still a bit surprised that many people do not know the danger of extinction our amphibian friends face. Many times we heard, “Frogs are in trouble, really?” A lot of people do not know that they are under duress due to pesticides, loss of habitat, invasive species, climate change and more. On Save The Frogs Day this year, we were excited to once again educate (our #1 goal) over 150 people and receive over $300 to support the STF organization’s efforts. Thank you STF! For all that you do to help the frogs." ~ Nancy and Taylor Lichtle
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently took actions to approve a long term management plan that includes spending taxpayer dollars to drain the Sharp Park Wetlands. The City of San Francisco has a documented history of harming, killing and harassing federally protected California Red-Legged Frogs (Rana draytonii) when they drain this rare wetland ecosystem. Their reason to drain the wetlands: to create dry land for a money-losing golf course.
SAVE THE FROGS! partners have appealed the Board's actions and an appeal hearing will take place February 28th, 2017. Click here to see the letter submitted to the SF Board of Supervisors by SAVE THE FROGS! Founder Dr. Kerry Kriger on February 15th, 2017. Right now we need your help to ensure the City knows there is widespread opposition to their frog-killing plans.
Please email the SF Board of Supervisors today and tell them you oppose the proposed Significant Natural Resource Areas Management Plan until and unless the Sharp Park Golf Course redevelopment is removed from the plan! You can use the sample email below.
Sample Email (Please sign your name at the bottom of it):
MAIL TO (copy all these email addresses into the CC: field of your composed email):
Board.of.Supervisors@sfgov.org, Sandra.Fewer@sfgov.org, Mark.Farrell@sfgov.org, Aaron.Peskin@sfgov.org, Katy.Tang@sfgov.org, London.Breed@sfgov.org, Conor.Johnston@sfgov.org, Jane.Kim@sfgov.org, Norman.Yee@sfgov.org, Jeff.Sheehy@sfgov.org, Hillary.Ronen@sfgov.org, Malia.Cohen@sfgov.org, Ahsha.Safai@sfgov.org, firstname.lastname@example.org
Please protect wetlands and reject any SNRAMP that includes golf course redevelopment
Dear San Francisco Board of Supervisors:
I am writing to urge you to reject the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the proposed Significant Natural Resource Areas Management Plan (SNRAMP), unless and until the Sharp Park Golf Course redevelopment is removed from the plan. The vast majority of California’s wetlands have been drained, degraded and destroyed. Sharp Park is home to federally protected, endangered California Red-Legged Frogs (Rana draytonii), California’s official state amphibian. The Board of Supervisors should work to protect, rather than to kill, harm and harass these frogs, which is what happens when the City pumps the Sharp Park Wetlands out to sea, causing the frogs’ egg masses to be stranded on dry land. I wholeheartedly oppose any usage of taxpayer funds that results in the destruction of rare wetland ecosystems or the degradation of important wildlife habitat. Using taxpayer dollars to drain wetlands for non-essential purposes is thoroughly unethical. As such, I again request that you not approve any version of a Significant Natural Resource Areas Management Plan that condones or funds such activities. Please see www.savethefrogs.com/sharp-park for more info, and remember that there are over 1,000 other golf courses in California.
Speak up at San Francisco City Hall February 28th, 2017
Our Appeal hearing before the SF Board of Supervisors is on Tuesday, February 28th at 3:00pm in San Francisco City Hall, Room 250. We need you there at 3:00pm so that you can speak in support of our appeal and protecting Sharp Park wildlife! Please email Julia Chang Frank at Julia4th@yahoo.com if you can be there, and she will provide you with talking points. Thank you for taking action for amphibians!
California Red-Legged Frog eggs stranded on land
Learn More & Donate
Visit www.savethefrogs.com/sharp-park to learn more. Donate at www.savethefrogs.com/donate to ensure SAVE THE FROGS! has the necessary funds to protect, create and restore amphibian habitat in California, across the USA and around the world. Thank you!
We need your help today to stop the State of California from turning 3,100 acres of critical amphibian habitat at Tesla Park into a publicly funded off-highway vehicle park! Three-wheelers and dirt bikes have no place in one of the state’s most biologically rich areas, but the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division (OHMVR) of California State Parks is planning to expand the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area into nearby Tesla Park, which contains some of the state's most important amphibian habitat. Please submit your comment through the easy to use form we created at: http://savethefrogs.com/tesla
Tesla Park is home to our official state amphibian the California Red-legged Frog (Rana draytonii); California Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma californiense), Foothill Yellow-legged frogs (Rana boylii); Spadefoot toads (Spea hammondii), as well as more common species like California Newts (Taricha torosa) and Pacific Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris regilla). The OHMVR wants to let intensive OHV use destroy the upland habitats of these frogs and salamanders. Please make your voice heard and help protect Tesla Park's amazing amphibians!