Letters to the editor for Aug. 7, 2013

By Union Democrat staff August 07, 2013 03:00 pm

Political rhetoric won’t save species or jobs

To the Editor:

As detailed in your report, (“Frog hearing set for Tuesday,” Aug. 5), some Californians are confused about how the Endangered Species Act works. The decline of once common yellow-legged frogs and Yosemite toads is an indisputable warning of the failing health of our Sierra ecosystems. These amphibians need help because of habitat loss, pesticides, introduced species, disease, and climate change.

 Opponents claim the designation of critical habitat will costs jobs and restrict access to public land. This is simply untrue. Designating critical habitat will ensure that federal agencies don’t take actions that degrade or destroy the habitat upon which these species rely for their very existence. This benefits us humans as well by protecting the water sources and ecosystem health upon which we, and our economy, ultimately depend.  That is something to embrace and be thankful for, not fear.

 

Justin Augustine

Center for Biological Diversity

Oakland