Whoa! What a busy place. And we're keeping it civil (though I imagine Eric's finger is hovering nervously over the "lock" button...).
Bad Man: Thanks mucho for posting the link to the Discovery program. That was outstanding -- I don't have cable and had wanted to see that. A really good example of science reporting. I did, though, miss reference there to science which would contradict any of either Roland's or Vance's research. At the end, they talked about climate change being a contributor, but that didn't seem to contradict anything on either the role of Chytrid or fish. Temperature, if it's a factor, only seems to enhance the effects of Chytrid, if I understood it correctly (as well as Roland's comments on his blog).
Also, just as a side-note on porcupines. I followed up from your comment a few months ago. Our Park's Chief Scientist has been hearing anecdotal stories about possible porcupine decline. The problem is no one has a handle on it enough to start a study (or money...). I think it's fair to say that of the species in California that have been endangered or considered endangered, each has received an enormous amount of scientific and press attention: bighorn sheep; peregrine falcon; even a kangaroo rat, if I remember right. In fact, the attention given the yellow-legged frog is pretty impressive considering it's not a cuddly and furry animal. Increasingly, I think such attention is appropriately proportionate to the perception that it's a wider problem (in habitat destruction or as an indicator species) than just the species in trouble. That's what's happening here. As I've said before, it's not just about the frogs. It's about the Sierra ecosystem.
I wish I were in Lee Vining right now... .
Russ: good to get us on track -- the fish froggie brouhaha has happened here before and we have a tendency to get excitable.
From what i've read, it seems that they have to be all lakes in the upstream part of a basin, with good downstream fish barriers, natural or otherwise.
Roland has a pretty good essay about the criteria required. Also, this spring, I think Sequoia Kings will publish their EA on the proposed lakes for fish removal over the next 30 years. If I'm in the frontcountry when that happens, I'll post it here. Here's Rolands thoughts on criteria:
In these projects, site selection was straightforward: choose sites that (1) are in close proximity to existing frog populations, (2) contain high quality frog habitat, and (3) have the appropriate characteristics to allow fish population removal using mechanical means (gill netting, electrofishing). Criterion 1 ensures that mountain yellow-legged frogs will be able to recolonize the restoration site following fish removal. For Criterion 2, high quality habitat is generally characterized as lakes deeper than 3 m (10'), located at elevations below 3600 m (11800'), and surrounded by other suitable habitats including fishless lakes, ponds, marshes, and low-gradient streams (see Knapp et al. 2003 for details). Criterion 3 requires that there are no upstream fish populations and that fish from downstream locations are prevented from moving into the site by natural barriers on the interconnecting streams.
The full essay is here:http://anuranblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/frog-restoration-state-of-science.html
Another essay with his thoughts about the role of climate change is here:http://anuranblog.blogspot.com/2008/10/more-about-climate-change-and-amphibian.html
And researchers spreading chytrid:http://anuranblog.blogspot.com/2008/10/frog-fable-1-frog-disease-is-spread-by.html
Actually, read all three of his Frog Fables.
Finally, Giantbrookie's comment that the angler community really needs to engage in this problem in a reasonable way is an excellent point. Totally opposing all attempts to restore frog habitat won't work. The angler community has to accept that it is in no way an either/or equation. The tendency to paranoia, by some, that the government is out to destroy your fishing is just not going to get you a place at the table with any credibility or subsequent influence.