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January 21, 2015     Chester Progressive
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January 21, 2015

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 7B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE Humans cause enough extinctions - let's not wish for more Just as we can learn much from other people, we can also learn much from other species. Mountain yellow-legged frogs have persisted for thousands of years at high elevations that experience extreme weather and may hold secrets that we can learn from. Because of this, humans should do all we can to turn back the tide of extinction, especially when the causes are due to our activities. Unfortunately, most endangered species are nearing extinction because of human activity. Mountain yellow-legged frogs are one such species at risk. They are not endangered because they are "weak" or "fragile," ashas been written in this l~ewspaper's editorials. They are endangered because we have introduced a predator, the Eastern brook trout, which the frogs did not evolve with. WHERE I STAND DARLA S. DERUITER ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR FEATHER RIVER COLLEGE But that's not the only thing. It started around 1970. Mountain yellow-legged frogs experienced a combination of factors that lead to their decline: non-native fish that eat them and their tadpoles, pesticides, increasing UV radiation due to a thinning ozone layer, their high mountain lake habitats becoming more acid from pollution blowing in from the valley to the west, livestock grazing and drought, among others. Even recreational activities like backpacking and hiking are hard on frogs, since they hang out on rocks along the shoreline of mountain lakes and streams -- the same places many of us like so much. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the mountain yellow-legged frog as endangered in June 2014. They designated critical habitat, which is required under the Endangered Species Act. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife responded by planning to remove the non-native, predatory fish from some of the designated critical habitat in Plumas County. CDFW selected Gold Lake in Bucks Lake Wilderness, because it's close to Rock Lake, where there is a known population of mountain yellow-legged frogs. I've seen them there myself. The two lakes are sometimes connected by high water in the spring, and frogs sometimes travel over snow to reach preferred breeding sites early in the season. So the CDFW biologists were making a logical biological decision. However, it seems they kind of "sprang" their decision on the public. Opposition quickly mounted, and was aggravated by the newspaper's editorial last April. If we all take a step back, maybe we can agree that it might be an acceptable decision after all. CDFW biologists are clearly stating that Gold Lake is the only area targeted for non-native trout removal. You can choose to believe them, or call them liars. My tendency is to trust people who have dedicated their lives to caring for the natural world with little reward. The big picture It is the fate of every species to go extinct. In fact, 99 percent of all species that have ever lived have disappeared. Species typically last between 1 million and 10 million years, then they go extinct for one of three main reasons. First, a species may evolve into a new species. This is known as speciation. An example is when finches landed on a few of the Galapagos islands, spread to others, and evolved into distinct "daughter" species. Second, habitat changes, whether catastrophic or incremental, may lead to extinctions. Previous extinction crises, like the Permian (248 million years ago), known as the "mother of mass extinctions," were due to climate changes and volcanic activity. In the Permian event 75 - 95 percent of species went extinct, including marine vertebrates and invertebrates, trilobites and many trees. The Cretaceous mass extinction, which happened 65 million years ago when an asteroid struck in shallow seas near what is the current site of the Yucatan Peninsula, is probably most well-known. It sent debris into the atmosphere, creating a global "impact winter" that prevented plants from photosynthesizing. Three-quarters of plants and animals went extinct, including dinosaurs. The third reason species go extinct, and the reason for the sixth mass extinction, is human activity. There are five main vehicles for human-caused extinction: habitat destruction, introducing non-native species, pollution (localized or global, like greenhouse gasses or acid rain), overexploitation (huntIng, fishing, poaching) and disease. No scientist has ever directly See DeRuiter, page 8B We should support the president's community college plan Recently, President WHERE I STAND second question: skills such as adaptability, Business Review, roughly 69 Obama announced a plan to Community college is, andcommunication, digital million people work in provide two years of AMY SCHUI2. will continue to be, the No. 1 literacy and, yes, middle skills jobs right now; community college to all DIRECTOR OF CAREER TECHNICAL EDUCATION AND ECONOMIC training ground for theseentrepreneurship. The that represents around 48 students for free. As a local WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT skills. It's an increasing culmInation of these skills is percent of the labor force, education expert at a public, FEATHER RIVER COLLEGE reality that community truly what makes studentsand the numbers are two-year, fully accredited colleges, includIng our workforce ready when theyexpected to rise even more community college located 2) How will making hometown institution graduate, as baby boomers retire and right here in Plumas community college more Feather River College, are At Feather River College,millennials enter the County, I wholeheartedly affordable to a broader pool hubs for technical education we call our program The workforce. When their embrace his proposition and of students shrink it? and economic workforce New World of Work becauseparents retire, the next I hope you will too. One of Here's the first answer: development training, that's exactly what we are generation of workers needs the biggest reasons we Middle skills are defined as Yes, we offer traditionaltraining Students for: the to be ready for the 25 million should offer this plan our abilities that lend college opportunities to new world of employment new middle skills job support is the wage gap, themselves toward careers students who want it, opportunities that await openings that labor market which is made wider and in fields such as computer including an associate them after graduation, with experts project will be more cavernous by the technology, manufacturing, degree that is transferable to positions waiting to be filled available and community concurrent growing middle health care and more; often, a four,year university, by people who have the right colleges are where they can skills gap we face in this they require a postsecondary However, we also offer skill sets. This new world get that preparation. country, education that is outside programs that educate offers well-paid jobs, but That's why I support the At this point, most people what a traditional college students in middle skills that those jobs require practical, president's plan, and it's have two questions: 1) What degree offers, prepare them for the real21st-century skills, why I urge my fellow locals is the middle skills gap? and Now, the answer to the world, In addition to "soft" According to the Harvard to support it as well. LETTERS. to the EDITOR ' In Northern California's rural communities, community college offersthe best opportunity for closing the wage gap and trainirig a new generation of professionals. If we want to grow jobs and reduce unemployment, we have to be willing to do what it takes to prepare people for them -- by making it as easy as possible for them to get that preparation. Amy Schulz is director of Career Technical Educa tion and Economic Workforce Development a t Fea ther River College She was reeently named one o the top 2O educators ,, ::-~[ c~anging the world by The ~.: Pollination Project. : : - 2, Guidelines for letters All letters must contain an address and phone number. Only one letter per week per person will be published; only one letter per person per month regarding the same topic will be published. Feather Publishing does not print third-party, anonymous or open letters. Letters must not exceed 300 words. Writers responding to previously published letters may not mention the author by name. The deadline is Friday at 3 p.m.; deadlines may change due to holidays. Letters may be submitted at any of Feather Publishing's offlwes, sent via fax to 283-3952 or emailed to dmaionald@plumasnew cor The entrenched There is a republic where the entrenched have restricted the voting power of those people they fear might not vote the way they would like. Laws have been passed much like those of our nation's former Jim Crow laws. In addition, so as to make sure that the votes of those people who might vote contrary to their wishes are diluted, local legislators have developed voting districts that resemble the tentacles of an octopus. Also, some of the more wealthy individuals are pouring money into areas to influence their legislators into taxing the installation of roof-top solar panels, thereby making it difficult for citizens. to avail themselves of nonfossfl-fuel energies. Instead of rewarding the people for using clean energy, they are punishing them. Their national Legislature has made science its enemy. R has made a law to deny scientists access to government agencies while appointing hostile individuals to'agencies and boards established to protect the health and well-being of its citizens. When their secret, harsh treatment of prisoners of war was made public, they defended their practice in open defiance of the Geneva Conventions. Oddly enough, their courts have declared that corporations are people, and allow no limit to their political contributions, which, of course, further entrenches the entrenched. There are progressives who would like to improve their republic; however, the entrenched, who wield the powers of the Republic of Acirema, would never let that happen. Thank goodness we live in America. Salvatore Catalano Taylorsville Angels from Beskeen Lane It was Christmas Eve and I was preparing for a quiet evening alone, when I heard a knock at the door about 5 p.m. I opened it and angels descended upon me. They began singing and I ushered them into my living room. The voices of the four or five teenage girls were absolutely beautiful as they sang Christmas carols to me; a proud mother stood off to the side. Then they were gone. And because I was so overcome with surprise and emotion, I'm not sure that I thanked them properly. I don't even know their names, but I recognize them from my daily walks so I think of them as the "Angels from Beskeen Lane." They will never know how much the magic of that moment and their kindness meant to me. Harry Clarke Quincy Frog story Plumas County has been the center of a forest story, a fish story and now a frog story. The forest story led to the creation of the Quincy Library Group and a successful pilot program in forest management. It has helped in managing wildfires. The fish story led to the creation of Save Lake Davis committees to prevent the chemical treatment of a lake in the State Water Project. Now we are beginning the frog story. The Board of Supervisors needs to form an ad hoc committee to study the economic impact. The Save Lake Davis Committee of 2007 discoVered a holistic alternative that was not considered by the California Department of Fish and Game. In the frog story the CDFG is now called the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. while the old department mission was to give anglers a diversity of fish In sustainable fisheries, the new department is giving anglers impotent predatory fish in fisheries sustained by hatchery fish with limited allocations. The frog story in Plumas County is eliminating a sustainable brook trout fishery using federal grant money to protect the endangered Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frogs. Those surviving a plague are mostly found at Rock Lake. This lake does not have a population of brook trout and is the ideal environment to protect the endangered species. It would save taxpayers money. Thanks to Feather Publishing we are learning of the first impacts to our economy from a new fee by the Forest Service for a study of the fourth annual Lost Sierra Endurance Run on the yellow-legged frog. This is setting a precedent of fees imposed to study environment impacts imposed on nonprofits like the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship. Larry F. Douglas Portola Getting to know us Thank you Feather River Bulletin. It's been an Interesting year. A former pen pal gave me a subscription for 2014. I've never been to Plumas County, but enjoyed every bit gettIng to know the small ,towns and its people. Time to move on. Got to learn about others. Helen Howe Reno, Nevada Frogs, people and prosperity To espouse the simplistic view that the economy is more important than frogs is misleading and dangerous. There are ecological, social and economic justifications for the protection of biodiversity., The primary ecological justification for biodiversity is stability. Sierra Nevada mixed coniferous forests are more diverse than forests of the Rockies. Because our forests are diverse, they are less susceptible to insect infestations that have devastated the forests of the Rockies. For people, biodiversity equals potential foods, medicines, products and tourist attractions. Loggers of the Pacific Northwest once saw the Pacific yew as a "trash tree" because it had to be cleared out of the way in order to access the much larger, merchantable Douglas fir. In the 1960s, it was discovered that the bark of the Pacific yew contained cancer-curing properties. Today, Taxol, derived from the Pacific yew, is the bestselling anticancer drug of all time, with annual sales topping $1.6 billion. Could the yellow-legged frog directly benefit society like the Pacific yew? It would be a shame to lose it to extinction before knowing if it does. There are also moral reasons to protect biodiversity. Late last year Pope Francis said: "An economic system centered on the god of money needs to plunder nature to sustain the frenetic rhythm Of consumption that is inherent to it. The system continues unchanged, since what dominates are the dynamics of an economy and a fmance that are lackIng in ethics. It is no longer man who commands, but money. Cash commands." I agree with the Pope. We need to strike a better balance between the economy, people and the environment. I disagree with the newspaper. We can protect the yellow-legged frog, improve our community and grow the local economy. Darrel Jury Meadow Valley Pond and plug Kudos to all of you that were involved in halting another nonsensical pond-and-plug project. I applaud you and thank you. Nancy Love. Genesee Not all life should prosper In his impassioned letter (Jan. 14) defending the yellow-legged frog, a writer states: "Personally, I wish to live in a world filled with a diversity of species and hope the coming year is prosperous : for all life." I respect his wish for the ,: prosperity of the family Culicidae (mosquitoes), the bacteria Yersinia pestis (plague), the Zaire Ebola virus (self-explanatory) and Tinea cruris (jock itch ringworm). However, I don't share that wish. Bill Mainland Portola Keystone XL pipeline I'm sure everyone has heard of the Keystone XL pipeline. Even Fox News (whose majority stockholders are Australian Rupert Murdoch, and Saudi Prince Alwa .ed Bin Talal) has reported on it, so even Republicans know See Letters, page 8B Contact your elected officials PLUMAS COUNTY SUPERVISORS- 520 Main Street, Room 309, Quincy, CA 95971; (530) 283-6170; FAX: (530) 283-6288; E-Mail: Individual supervisors can also be e-mailed from links on the county website, PRESIDENT - l aek Obama, the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500. (202) 456-1414. Fax: 202-456-2461. E-mail: U.S. SENATOR- Dianne Feinstein (D), 331 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3841; FAX: 202-228-3954; TFYfrDD: (202) 224-2501. District Office: One Post Street, Suite 2450, San Francisco, CA 94104; Phone: (415) 393-0707; Fax: (415) 393-0710. Website: U.S. SENATOR - Barbara Boxer (D). District Office: 5011 St., Suite 7-600, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 448-2787; FAX (916) 448-2563. 112 Hart Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3553. FAX (202) 228-0454. U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, IST DIST. - Dang LaMalfa. 506 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515. (202) 225-3076.;; twitter: @RepLaMalfa. DISTRICT OFFICE: 1453 Downer St., Suite #A, Oroville, CA 95965, (530) 534-7100, FAX (530) 534-7800. STATE SENATOR, 1st DIST. - Ted Gaines. State Capitol, Room 3070, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 651-4001, FAX: (916) 324-2680. E1 Dorado Hills Constituent Service Center: 4359 Town Center Boulevard, Suite 112, E1 Dorado Hills, CA 95762. (916) 933-7213, FAX (916) 933-7234; Redding Constituent Service Center: 1670 Market St., Suite 244, Redding, CA 96001, (530) 225- 3142, FAX (530) 225-3143. STATE ASSEMBLYMAN, 1ST DIST.. Brian DaMe, State Capitol, Suite 2158, Sacramento, CA 94249-00001, (916) 319-2001; FAX (916) 319-2103. District Office, 280 Hemsted Dr., Ste. #110, Redding, CA 96002; (530) 223-6300, FAX (530) 223-6737. GOVERNOR - Jerry Brown, office of the Governor, State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814.Website: 445-2841. FAX (916) 558-3160. 1 i 1