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Quincy, California
January 21, 2015     Feather River Bulletin
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January 21, 2015

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015 71B 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," as has been written in this newspaper'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 shanow 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 yehicles 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: Obama announced a plan to ............................................. Community college is, and provide two years of AMY SEHULZ will continue to be, the No. 1 community college to all DIRECTOR OF CAREER TECHNICAL training ground for these EDUCATION AND ECONOMIC students for free. As a local WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT skills. It's an increasing education expert at a public, FEATHER RIVER COLLEGE reality that community two-year, fully accredited colleges, including our community cortege located 2) How will making hometown institution right here in Plumas community college more Feather River Cortege, are County, I wholeheartedly affordable to a broader pool hubs for technical education embrace his proposition and of Students shrink it? and economic workforce I hope you will too. One of Here's the first answer: development training. the biggest reasons we Middle skills are defined as Yes, we offer traditional should offer this plan our abilities that lend college opportunities to support is the wage gap, themselves toward careers students who want it, which is made wider and in fields such as computer including an associate more cavernous by the technology, manufacturing, degree that is transferable to concurrent growing middle health care and more; often, a four-year university. skills gap we face in this they require a postsecondary However, we also offer country, education that is outside programs that educate At this point, most people what a traditional college students in middle skills that have two questions: 1) What degree offers, prepare them for the real is the middle skills gap? and Now, the answer to the world, in addition to "soft" skills such as adaptability, communication, digital literacy and, yes, entrepreneurship. The culmination of these skills is truly what makes students workforce ready when they graduate. At Feather River College, we call our program The New World of Work because that's exactly what we are training students for: the new world of employment opportunities that await them after graduation, with positions waiting to be filled by people who have the right skill sets. This new world offers well-paid jobs, but those jobs require practical, 21st-century skills. According to the Harvard Business Review, roughly 69 million people work in middle skills jobs right now; that represents around 48 percent of the labor force, and the numbers are expected to rise even more as baby boomers retire and millennials enter the workforce. When their parents retire, the next generation of workers needs to be ready for the 25 million new middle skills job openings that labor market experts project will be available and community colleges are where they can get that preparation. That's why I support the president's plan, and it's why I urge my fellow locals to support it as well. In Northern California's rural communities, community college offers the best opportunity for closing the wage gap and training 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 T~rAmical Education and Economic Workforoe Developmen t a t Fea ther River College She was re~nfly named one o the top 20 educa tots changing the world by The Pollination Project. LET.TERS to th:e EDITOR ,.. Guidelines for letters defended their practice in in the State Water Project. Frogs, people and All letters must contain an open defiance of the Geneva Now we are beginning the frog prosperity address andphone number. Conventions. story. The Board of To espouse the simplistic Only one letterper weekper Oddly enough, their courts Supervisors needs to form an view that the economy is more person will be published; only have declared that ad hoc committee to study the important than frogs is one letter per person per month corporations are people, and economic impact, misleading and dangerous. regarding the same topic will allow no limit to their The Save Lake Davis There are ecological, social be published. Feather political contributions, which, Committee of 2007 discovered and economic justifications Publishing does notprint of course, further entrenches a holistic alternative that was for the protection of third-party, anonymous or the entrenched, not considered by the biodiversity. open letters. Letters must not There are progressives who California Department of Fish The primary ecological exceed 300 words. Writers would like to improve their and Game. In the frog story justification for biodiversity responding to previously republic; however, the the CDFG is now called the is stability. published letters may not entrenched, who wield theCalifornia Department of Fish Sierra Nevada mixed mention the author by name. powers of the Republic ofand Wildlife. While the old coniferous forests are more The deadline is Friday at 3 Acirema, would never let that department mission was todiverse than forests of the p.m.; deadlines may change happen, give anglers a diversity of fish Rockies. Because our forests due to holidays. Letters may be Thank goodness we live inin sustainable fisheries, the are diverse, they are less submitted at any of Feather America. new department is giving susceptible to insect Publishing's offices, sent via Salvatore Catalano anglers impotent predatory infestations that have fax to 283-3952 or emailed to Taylorsville fish in fisheries sustained by devastated the forests of the dma, hatchery fish with limited Rockies. Angels from Beskeen Laneallocations. For people, biodiversity The entrenched It was Christmas Eve and I The frog story in Plumas equals potential foods, There is a republic where was preparing for a quiet County is eliminating amedicines, products and the entrenched have evening alone, when I heard a sustainable brook trouttourist attractions. restricted the voting power of knock at the door about 5 p.m. fishery using federal grant Loggers of the Pacific those people they fear might I opened it and angels money to protect the Northwest once saw the not vote the way they would descended upon me. They endangered Sierra Nevada Pacific yew as a "trash tree" like. Laws have been passed began singing and I ushered yellow-legged frogs. Those because it had to be cleared much like those of our them into my living room. The surviving a plague are mostly out of the way in order to nation's former Jim Crow voices of the four or five found at Rock Lake. This lake access the much larger, laws. teenage girls were absolutely does not have a population of merchantable Douglas fir. In addition, so as to make beautiful as they sang brook trout and is the ideal In the 1960s, it was sure that the votes of those "Christmas carols to me; a environment to protect the discovered that the bark of the people who might vote proud mother stood offto the endangered species. It would Pacific yew contained contrary to their wishes are side. Then they were gone. save taxpayers money, cancer-curing properties. diluted, local legislators have And because I was so Thanks to Feather Today, Taxol, derived from developed voting districts that overcome with surprise and Publishing we are learning of the Pacific yew, is the resemble the tentacles of an emotion, I'm not sure that I the first impacts to our bestselling anticancer drug of octopus, thanked them properly. I don't economy from a new fee by all time, with annual sales Also, some of the more even know their names, but I the Forest Service for a study topping $1.6 billion. wealthy individuals are recognize them from my dally of the fourth annual Lost Could the yellow-legged frog pouring money into areas to walks so I think of them as the Sierra Endurance Run on the directly benefit society like influence their legislators into "Angels from Beskeen Lane." yellow-legged frog. This is the Pacifm yew? It would be a taxing the installation of They will never know howsetting a precedent of fees shame to lose it to extinction roof-top solar panels, thereby much the magic of that imposed to study environment before knowing if it does. making it difficult for citizens moment and their kindness impacts imposed on There are also moral to avail themselves of meant to me. nonprofits like the Sierra reasons to protect nonfossil-fuel energies. Harry Clarke Buttes Trail Stewardship. biodiversity. Instead of rewarding the Quincy Larry F. Douglas Late last year Pope Francis people for using clean energy, Portolasaid: "An economic system they are punishing them. Frog story centered on the god of money Their national Legislature Plumas County has been the Getting to know us needs to plunder nature to has made science its enemy. It center of a forest story, a fish Thank you Feather Riversustain the frenetic rhythm of has made a law to deny story and now a frog story. Bulletin. It's been an consumption that is inherent scientists access to The forest story led to the interesting year. A former pen to it. The system continues government agencies while creation of the Quincy pal gave me a subscription for unchanged, since what appointing hostile individuals Library Group and a 2014. I've never been to dominates are the dynamics of to agencies and boards successful pilot program in Plumas County, but enjoyed an economy and a ffmance established to protect the forest management. It has every bit getting to know the that are lacking in ethics. It is health and well-being of its helped in managing wildfires, small towns and its people, no longer man who citizens. The fish story led to the Time to move on. Got to learn commands, but money. Cash When their secret, harsh creation of Save Lake Davis about others, commands." treatment of prisoners of war committees to prevent the Helen HoweI agree with the Pope. We was made public, they chemical treatment of a lake Reno, Nevada 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 aH 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: pcbs@countyofplumas.eom. Individual supervisors can also be e-mailed from links on the county website, PRESIDENT - Barack 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; TTY/TDD: (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, 1ST DIST. - Doug LaMalfa. 506 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515. (202) 225-3076.;[RepLaMalfa; 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: 4359Town 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 Dahle, 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. |