Among Mark Twain's tales is "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County," and most people figure it was a red-legged frog. But their numbers have plummeted in recent years, even forcing reenactments of Twain's frog jumping contest to turn to other species. The US Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday said it will designate 450,000 acres in California as protected habitat, a 40 percent cut from its previous proposal and only about a tenth of what was first envisioned early in the Bush administration. Environmentalists say that is not nearly enough. But the feds do say they are including tougher rules to get farmers in a broader, 1-million-acre region to provide good frog habitat on their properties.
AP (no byline)
Sacramento Bee Michael Doyle who pins it explicitly on the Bush Administration, and includes in his report the efforts by California GOP Congressman Richard Pombo, head of the House Resources Committee, to eliminate the whole idea of critical habitat from the Endangered Species Act.
SF Chronicle Patrick Hoge who has enviros calling the ruling a "plan for extinction" while the homebuilding industry says it's still too much land for the frog.