Re "Critics jump on frog and toad protection plans in California" (Sacbee.com, Augu. 5): As detailed in your report, some California residents and politicians either don't understand the Endangered Species Act or they purposefully distort facts to fan fear. The decline of once common yellow-legged frogs and Yosemite toads is an indisputable warning of the failing health of our Sierra ecosystem. These amphibians need help because of habitat loss, pesticides, introduced species, disease, and climate change.
Opponents claim the designating of critical habitat will costs jobs and restrict access to public land. This is simply untrue. Designating critical habitat ensures federal agencies don't take actions that degrade or destroy necessary habitat. It 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, Oakland