Union Democrat staff

Frogs don't need so much protection

To the Editor:

My biased fairground frog forum recap:

Due to past indiscriminate logging, mining, ATVing, etc., with no regard for environmental consequences, federal supervision of public lands is necessary. Left unsupervised, humans would do so again. The federal forest bureaucracy we now have is procedure focused (rather than outcome focused), is inept (sorry, we forgot to bring important information about the economic impact study), and is incapable of producing workable solutions. It has been expertly gamed by environmental interest groups to further their agenda of stopping every last commercial use of public lands regardless of economic consequences.

Frogs are dying worldwide from a virus. Frogs are eaten by nonnative trout, which is one too many population stresses on top of the virus. A lot of trout are going to be killed. Critical habitat designation will have very little effect on the long term outcome for frogs. Current human activities in the forest have little or no effect on the frogs. Critical habitat designation for frogs and toads will affect a huge area in the Sierras. Past critical habitat designations have economically crippled some California counties. Frog regulations will have a major negative economic impact on Sierra communities. Tuolumne County supervisors unanimously oppose these regulations.

Fish and Wildlife is required to take public input and commission an economic impact study, but will decide on the basis of science, unless science refutes the outcome they desire.

Logging activity in the national forests has been counterproductively curtailed. Forest biomass build up to more than double natural levels supports intense fires that indiscriminately kill flora and fauna, including frogs.

Frogs could be adequately protected with one tenth the proposed area. Both sides are telling half truths. Environmental groups are in the driver's seat on frogs, and will prevail if nothing changes.

Scot Turner


County juvenile court lacks 'CASA'

To the Editor:

CASA is a four letter word.

At least, that's how county employees, including the juvenile court treat it. CASA is actually an acronym standing for "Court Appointed Special Advocate."

As the name implies, the Court appoints a specially trained volunteer to be an advocate for the child. Not for the district attorney, public defender, Child Welfare Services, Probation Department or the court. What is really alarming is that Tuolumne County is one of few California counties without court appointed special advocates.

This is a major red flag. If you want what is in the "best interests of our children," please contact your county supervisor, Child Welfare Service department head, probation department head and the court.

Paul McNaul

Cedar Ridge