Skip to comments.Tiger salamander gets protected status in California
Posted on 07/27/2004 10:04:07 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Federal wildlife officials agreed to grant protection to the California tiger salamander and its habitat, handing a major victory to conservationists but angering farmers and real estate developers. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Monday it will list the salamander as a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act - a designation that makes it unlawful to harm the salamander and restricts development in its habitat, which is primarily found in the Central Valley, Central Coast and San Francisco Bay area.
"It's a huge conservation milestone because we're protecting one of California's most imperiled amphibians," said Kassie Siegel, a staff attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity, which sued to protect the species. "The California tiger salamander and its habitat are a critical part of California's natural heritage that will now be preserved for future generations."
Agriculture and business interests that had opposed the listing said they were disappointed with the decision, which will go into effect in about a month. The California Natural Resources Group, which seeks to reform the Endangered Species Act, said the ruling was based on "outdated and biased" information.
"The listing decision will impact critically needed infrastructure projects, affordable housing, school construction and farming activities," the group said in a statement.
In announcing their decision Monday, FWS officials said they plan to propose designating nearly 400,000 acres in 20 counties as the salamander's critical habitat, which may require special land management practices.
The tiger salamander populations in Sonoma and Santa Barbara counties, which are designated as endangered, will now be listed as threatened along with the rest of the state's salamander population. Threatened status offers fewer protections than endangered status.
Cattle ranchers will be exempted from the rule because stock ponds on cattle ranches have become important habitat for the salamander, which has lost 75 percent of its native habitat. The ranchers won't be punished if they accidentally harm the amphibians, said FWS spokesman Al Donner.
"We think the ranching operations will be a critical link to maintaining the species," Donner said. "Their normal ranching activities are helpful to the salamander, and we want that to continue."
The California tiger salamander is a black-and-yellow amphibian that grows up to 8 inches long and lives in grasslands, woodlands and vernal pools, where it breeds during the winter rainy season. The species has been threatened by urban sprawl and the invasion of non-native species.
Environmental groups, led by the Center for Biological Diversity, originally asked federal authorities to grant the salamander protected status in 1992. Two years later, the Fish and Wildlife Service ruled that such status was warranted, but the agency didn't have the resources to protect the species.
Monday's decision to list the salamander as a threatened species was spurred by a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity in 2002, said FWS spokesman Al Donner.
The Fish and Wildlife Service was supposed to issue a rule to protect the salamander by May 15, but that deadline was pushed back after the Bush administration requested a delay for the protections, citing poor science. A federal judge ordered the agency to issue a listing decision by late July.
On the Net:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: http://sacramento.fws.gov/
Center for Biological Diversity: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org
California Natural Resources Group: http://www.cnrgonline.com/
Sooooo...when does the California Conservative Republican go on the Endangered Species List?
Property rights being taken away by lizard, this should read.
according to mnay, even some here at FR, they are extinct or will be soon.. so I guess we , like Tom, are just irrelevant.
Talk about Taxation without Representation.
I wonder what will happen to the species when the state reverts back to Mexico.
Tiger salamanders are common as dirt. I grew up in a suburb of Denver and saw them all the time. I kept a pair of them once and called the big one Bad Ass (after Jack Nicholson's character in The Last Detail). He would leap across the box and grab a grasshopper nearly half as big as himself and swallow it whole. He could eat about ten medium size hoppers at a sitting. My aunt used to have one in her root cellar in Iowa that she would feed whenever she went down there. A ubiquitous creature throughout the midwest.
When future generations don't have any land to buy because it's all under federal protection, I'm sure they'll appreciate your efforts.
From their website:
"Since 1984 staff members of the Center have been successful in obtaining ESA protection for the following 329 species."
Over 250 of these were plants. Each one of these 329 species represents a lawsuit, lots of money, and someone's plan to develop an area, and probably someone's specific grudge against that development.
And development under existing rules, codes, etc. which are already very strict. Just like so many other issues (the 2000 election, homosexual marriage, etc.), if the existing laws don't go your way - find an activist judge and sue.
That's what they say NOW. Wait till tomorrow.
You are correct!! The Center For Bilogical Diversity is a commie bunch and a fraud. They are really radical and want all usage of the USA shut down. This is a serious mistake.
I was in Florida a couple of years ago, and there were RATS running all over the place (outside only, thank goodness). I asked the hotel people about it, and they said that they can't kill them anymore because they were "sand rats," a protected species. Nasty.
Who needs all those redwoods, birds, forests, animals? What difference does it make if they all disappear?
We can all be happier without them.
Let the developers get rich paving over the entire country - concrete, asphalt, malls, stores, developments, thats what we need. cover al those forests, farmlands, rivers and swamps.
Animals don't pay taxes.
And don't forget hsitoric sites. Who needs to preserve Gettysburg and Antitiem anyway? We can read all about them anyway. They would look better with a nice large MCDonald's Gettysburg Fast Food Joint, or maybe the Antietem Maxi-Mall. Now, that's catchy!!.
Of course, we would have to give up a few things like - wood, plants, plant food, a good steak, a hike in the woods, gun ranges (no room for guns in a megalopolis), places to fish, hsitoric ambiance.
But then it would be worth it, wouldn't it? Think of all the money those developers would make. And they deserve it too. They have America's best interests at heart. Right?
My woodpile (in an SF suburb) is full of them. Endangered? Yah, right!
You are the epitome of emotion rather than data driven environmental policy. No one is saying "pave the wilderness." Is it not at least possibly and admissible that at least some fraction of the "endangered" designations are made more for political reasons than scientific ones? For example, I live in an area that has many environmentalists. A significant fraction of them believe in an overall program of substantial negative human population growth. It stands to reason that, by driving certain policies to make it more difficult for people to afford having children (e.g. due to excessive housing costs) that such factions would have a vested interest in driving endangered designation even in cases which are scientifically inconclusive, or, more rarely, in cases where the science actually argues against such designation. What say you?
What do you call a lawyer with an IQ of 50?
What would happen if a couple of protected hawks flew in and ate all the protected salamanders, and then flew away?
Problem solved. Start developing and building.
"You are the epitome of emotion rather than data driven environmental policy."
I think you are trying to insult me. That's o.k. I have a thick skin (and head I'm told).
"Is it not at least possibly and admissible that at least some fraction of the "endangered" designations are made more for political reasons than scientific ones?"
Of course, no argument there.
"A significant fraction of them believe in an overall program of substantial negative human population growth."
I don't believe in negative growth. But I do think there are more than enough folks here already. How about "static" population growth? Like Daniel Boone said, "when you can see the smoke from your neighbor's cabin, its time to move."
"It stands to reason that, by driving certain policies to make it more difficult for people to afford having children (e.g. due to excessive housing costs)"
The Liberal fanaitcs on the left don't know what they want or what they are doing. The same people support "low-income housing initiatives" which "force" developers to build cheaper units for every high unit they put up.
I think the government should support nuclear families, discourage abortion, and discourage people from having more children than they are capable of taking care of. They should use the immigration service to control population growth and keep it at 0 level.
I see you are from California. I have never been there.
But I think you should take a plane flight to Boston, rent a car and drive down the coast to Charlotte, North Carolina - that's far enough. Make sure you drive off the main roads like route 95 along the way and check out the scenary. Gradually, slowly, developers are uprooting all the forests and open spaces there, building massive McMansions in huge develpments, building enormous industrial parks, and flooding small towns that were once the heart blood of America with hords of new homeowners with kids who drive up local property taxes to the point where senior citizens can't afford to live there any more because the cost of more schools, more teachers, and higher benefits rises every year. They are choaking the highways, of which there are never enough, with more and more vehciles, so a constant traffic jam is the way of life.
Areas which were once cow pastures only 30 years ago or so, where there were beautiful forests you could hunt in, clean streams and lakes you could fish in, are now covered over by an ever-growing blanket of developmental blight.
There has to be some way to regulate this to stop the entire country from looking like Hudson County, New Jersey.
By the way, if you look closely at the Red Blue Map and the counties on it, you will find that the most "developed" counties are nearly all Democrat and the undeveloped counties or underdeveloped counties are mostly all Republican.
Urban dwellers in general, expect much more out of government than rural people. And what they expect out of government is socialism or socialistic in nature.
Think about it.
We are overdeveloping ourselves out of existence and creating an environment more favorable to those very liberals we all detest so much.
The vast majority of this nation remains undeveloped.
Our existance is not threatened.
We have never commanded more control than we do now.
"The vast majority of this nation remains undeveloped."
True, and I would like to keep it that way.
Besides, although the vast majority of it is undeveloped, "undeveloped" is a relative term, and the rapidity with which it is becoming developed is proceeding at an accelating rate.
I'm over 50 years old. I know. I have watched it over half a century and the rate of development is increasing exponentially. Years ago, there was no exterior construction in the cold months. Now we have technology that allows exterior construction year round. The kinds of construction equipment we have today is fasater, although not necessarily better.
Our environment is not threatened right now at this moment, but the threat is looming.
And I don't ascribe to "global warming". Its a hoax.
"We have never commanded more control than we do now."
Is that line out of Shelly's "Frankenstein"?
We3 should be preserving our hertiage - our environment, our historical sites, our farms and pastureland and logging areas.
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