To the Editor:
Julia Stephens (Letters Sept. 12) says "Few, if any, new projects will ever be proposed in wilderness areas or in the extremely high, remote other areas adjacent to wilderness."
Exactly. Very few human activities are currently allowed in California's wilderness areas. I've backpacked a lot of these wilderness areas, and the limited human impacts are inconsequential in the context of the huge land area. So what benefit to the frogs will critical habitat designation have? None. So why pursue it? (This whole process has been 10 years in the works.) For ulterior motives.
David Hough of the CSERC (Letters Sept. 13) bemoans the destruction of meadows by drivers and littering in the national forests. Littering is illegal, and it would be fine with me if ATV's were completely banned from federal lands. Just address those issues specifically, instead of using the ESA to forward your agenda. Because that's exactly what is being done. Other than eradicating some trout, nothing that can be done under the ESA will benefit frogs, because it won't affect any of the causes of the frog's decline. But a lot of prohibitions of current uses will be incorrectly rationalized and implemented, just like with spotted owls.
The final proof of the real intentions behind the frog agenda is the massive land area up for critical habitat designation. One tenth the area would be more than enough to realize whatever few benefits there may be for the frogs. Why not drop this whole ESA frog charade and use the wilderness areas as a laboratory by continuing to eradicate trout in a few carefully chosen lakes?