SAVE THE FROGS! Campaign Update with Dr. Kerry Kriger

hi everyone welcome to the save the frogs webinar i am dr. Kerry Krieger the founder and executive director of save the frogs thanks a lot for attending what I want to do today is give you a brief update on save the frogs programs and campaigns and some volunteer opportunities and then also I want to answer all of your questions so if you have any questions about amphibians ecology save the frogs or careers in the environment or anything else that you can think of relative to save the frogs please go ahead and chat it to me on the right side of your computer screen you should see a chat box so go ahead and send in any question you have and I will do my best to answer this alright so first off you all if you’ve been following save the frogs for a while have probably heard about our atrazine campaign atrazine is one of the world’s most commonly used her besides it’s used primarily on corn and we use about 80 million pounds of it in america each year and it’s got pretty significant negative effects on amphibians particularly related to their sexual development and we felt protests at the EPA I’ve spoken at the EPA few times and currently the EPA is planning to release a draft atrazine ecological and human health risk assessment in August of this year it was actually due out in June and they delayed it so hopefully we’ll get out in August and our plan is to get a lot of publicity for that and get a lot of people sending in letters to the EPA it’s extremely important to get public comments from a wide variety of people and organizations because it’s guaranteed that the pesticide industry and various parts of the agricultural industry will be sending in letters in support of atrazine so if anyone out there is involved in any type of organization and can get an organizational sign on a letter officially from their organization that would be fantastic please contact me otherwise once this draft assessment is released I will definitely be emailing the save the frogs email list and our social media networks and getting lots of people to submit comments but having those official organizational comments are great those can come from schools environmental groups government agencies and also if anyone is interested in volunteering and has a couple hours a week to get the word out to various organizations then please let me know another campaign that we’ve been working on for about five years is stopping the importation of American bullfrogs into California the American bullfrog is native to the eastern half of the US and Canada and it causes pretty significant problems when it’s an invasive species in places where it does not belong Californians are importing at least a couple million live American bullfrogs into the state each year and permits are being distributed for the Spidey Department of Fish and Wildlife of California and we have recently sent in a Public Records Act request to the Department of Fish and Wildlife and this will give us info on how many permits are being issued what type of disease testing if any is being done on the imported amphibians and whether any analyses have been done related to sequa which is a california environmental law or to the endangered species act a federal law because importing bullfrogs has a negative impact on protected endangered species and it turns out we have someone on the line from the

Department of Fish and Wildlife and I’m not going to put them on the spot if they don’t want to talk but if they have anything to say about bullfrogs or the Department of Fish and Wildlife policies or current actions related to bullfrogs they’re welcome at any point in this webinar to raise their hand or to chat me a message and I could on you there Mike if they want it so that would be great to hear from them not required a fairly new campaign that i emailed everyone about one week ago or actually it’s not a new campaign but we have not had much mention of it since we originally made people aware of it a couple years ago Tesla Park is part for Tesla Park and Carnegie State vehicular recreation area California State Parks wants to open up critical amphibian habitat to off-highway vehicles at Tesla part which is east of San Francisco and you can see right on our homepage there’s a alert take action for Tesla parts endangered amphibians so if you never sent in your letter to California State parts please do so because they’re currently assessing public comment and the official comment period ended a few days ago but it never hurts to get your comment and so that they know lots of people are interested in this issue basically our goal is to get them to do a full environmental impact assessment and consider alternative uses to the land other than allowing off-highway vehicles which destroy the land and would definitely cause problems for the endangered amphibian species that live there another campaign that we will be announcing any day now is little yosemite canyon of alameda creek which is east of fremont california which is at the southern end of the san francisco bay and of particular interest on that Creek Arthur Hill yellow-legged frogs which currently receive no legal protections but they are an endangered species they’ve been impacted by all of the dams and hydroelectric facilities that have been built on rare throughout California these frogs the foothill yellow-legged frogs are very dependent on river habitats and when dams get built it alters the water flow and the water temperature and causes lots of problems for the amphibians and currently that San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is proposing to destroy a section of creeks at little yosemite they want to build Weir’s for fish and essentially a fish ladder to assist fish going up the creek the thing is there currently are no fish of interest to them because further downstream the creek has significant problems due to construction so they’re basically trying to help fish but it won’t even help fish all it will do is destroy an amphibian habitat and on top of destroying the habitat itself they’re planning to move the amphibians that live there so the foothill yellow-legged frogs that live there they want to move them to a currently undisclosed part of the creek the problem is that little Yosemite is the epicenter of a Kittredge fungal outbreak and if they move those amphibians they’re going to be moving kichard fungus and causing problems for other amphibians along the creek also when you move amphibians and put them somewhere else it would be akin to moving humans and putting them into your house you wouldn’t be very happy and the people there would be problems so it’s not as simple as let’s just move these amphibians and give them a new home it probably would not be very successful so we have an appeal in to the city of san francisco and on august 6 2015 they will be hearing that appeal at san francisco city hall everybody is invited and

encouraged to attend and it’s at 12pm on august six everybody will get two minutes to speak so any member of the public can come and we’ll have the microphone for two minutes to say your view so it’s really important to get people out politicians act in large part based on the public input that they are receiving so we’ll have a lot more info coming out on little yosemite canyon alameda creek and the foothill yellow-legged frogs in particular our next issue of save the frogs magazine has a full-length article on this save the frogs magazine if you are an official member of save the frogs then you get that mailed to you every three months and I strongly encourage you to become a member you can also go to save the frogs calm / magazine to get a subscription it’s only twelve dollars per year to have a pretty amazing magazine mailed to your house and after you read the magazine it’s a perfect piece of educational material to deliver to a local school or environmental group to spread the word about amphibians so go check out save the Frog magazine go subscribe next issue full-length article all about little yosemite we also have a full-length article about the bullfrog importations and amphibian deformities how to build better wetlands lots of good info sharp park is an area south of san francisco with a rare coastal wetland and the san francisco city has a golf course there that they manage taxpayer-funded loses money and what they’re doing is draining the wetland so that they can play golf on the property this impacts the California red-legged frog our official state amphibian so we have a lawsuit along with wild equity Institute and Sequoia Audubon our partners so that lawsuit is because the city of San Francisco has yet to conduct proper environmental impact assessments of their draining activities more recently a couple weeks ago wild equity Institute filed a lawsuit against the California Coastal Commission who just approved permits for the city of San Francisco to actually do construction in the wetland and further damage the wetland alright some other things going on with save the frogs is that we have a full believes eco tour starting next week I’m currently in southern Mexico and headed back to Belize shortly to co-lead our eco tour we’ve got 19 participants and myself as well as save the frogs ecologists Michael Starkey and Cathlyn Franco will be taking everybody to the tropical savanna tropical rainforests and the coral reefs to find amphibians reptiles and lots of awesome marine wildlife if you’re interested in save the frogs eco tours please let us know so we can keep you posted and will be leading to more in the future perhaps to Australia or some other amazing amphibian location so let us know if you want to join us in the future alright wetlands from November 30th to December 8 2015 we will be holding another round of wetland construction workshops so we’re going to teach you how to build wetlands these are wetlands you could build in your backyard they don’t have to be big big the wetlands can be very large we built a half acre wetland in Kentucky last month and we definitely invite you to attend and learn all about wetland so go to save the frogs calm / wetlands and you can click this link wetland construction workshop and we’ll keep you posted about upcoming wetland events some volunteer opportunities one thing

that I’d really like currently is a volunteer or ideally several volunteers to help us get the word out about save the frogs and amphibian conservation in general via the multitude of social networking sites that exist currently we have about thirty eight thousand followers on our Facebook page facebook.com slash save the frogs twitter.com / save the frogs has about six thousand followers and what I’d like is someone to take charge of a social media site for instance Pinterest Twitter linked in snapchat Google+ tumblr Instagram I’d like someone taking pretty much full control of any of these and I can get you trained up on how to post regularly build our supporter base get the word out Facebook is definitely not the only social media network and it’s only one demographic will say or not one but it’s a certain demographic that uses it having people getting the saved frogs message out to all those other social media sites that i just mentioned would be fantastic it leads to more supporters more volunteers more activity more donations more educated people so if you’re interested in helping out with our social media and you consider yourself fairly technologically savvy then please send me an email my email is Carrie at save the frogs kaam ke rry at save the frogs dot-com you can also anytime go to our contact page you’ll see a little contact link right here in the left sidebar contact at save the frogs calm works well too that’s all that I have on my mind to inform you of and what I’d like to do is take any of your questions so i have a few that came in and everybody else please go ahead and send me in a question I’m sure you must have a question about something amphibian related or perhaps you don’t perhaps our website is so incredibly thorough that you’ve been completely educated but i have a feeling you probably have some questions and also on the topic of websites that’s something else i’m looking for if you know website developer who may be interested in volunteering for save the frogs then please have them contact me i’m in the process of converting our website to a much higher tech software system called joomla and if you know anyone who uses joomla or anyone who’s just good with websites then please have them contact me and be on the lookout for the brand new save the frogs com which will be coming soon and have some pretty amazing functionality and a whole lot of new features that will enable us to connect to the save the frogs community and to get a whole lot more content coming up onto our website all right so please send in your questions we have one about volunteering someone who lives in California and they say where is this organization located exactly well we are definitely officially based in California and we had offices in santa cruz and berkeley for the past five years but currently we do not have any official office and our employees are essentially cyber based home office we work all over the world volunteering could be based pretty much anywhere most of our volunteers are not centrally located but as you heard when I discussed our campaigns we do have a major California focus so if you’re interested in volunteering in any way then definitely let me know as far as on the ground activities we could set you up gating people in your community and

as far as field activities the best thing to do is to join us November 30th to December 8th as we build wetlands okay so question about atrazine campaign and how people can help the best thing is to be on the lookout for save the frogs action alert that I will send out as soon as the EPA releases their draft atrazine ecological and human health risk assessment which they claim will come out in august of 2015 so i will definitely be putting that on the website in a visible location sending out emails about it putting it up on our social media and then the number one thing you can do is to send a letter ideally a personalized letter and I mean that as opposed to sending in a pre-written letter that all have prepared which is fine if you just hit put your name in and hits on it great but if you customize it make it look personal then the EPA will count it as a unique letter and not just one of hopefully thousands that come in through our automated system that all will more or less look alike and another thing is to start thinking about environmental organizations that you work with or are part of or schools school groups anyone that’s an organization who may have an interest in food safety environmental health human health who could get an organizational letter written to the EPA when that draft assessment comes out and if you want to volunteer and get some guidance from me on how to do that then definitely send me an email okay some more questions yeah so an excellent question coming from raynell Galvis crews in Columbia raynell has been volunteering for save the frogs and save the frogs columbia for many years and we appreciate his support and everyone at saved frogs columbia we’ve sent them a couple grants to go out into their communities near cali colombia and educate students who live in villages where people are illegally collecting frogs usually poison dart frogs to export them for part of the international trade in amphibians as pets and he wants to know how he can help create or design information about save the frogs in Spanish this is actually one of the very first things that I envisioned the save the frogs website to be when I created it in 2008 was a multilingual website and we do actually have Salva las Ranas com which is Spanish for save the frogs but nothing is on that as I said a few minutes ago one of my main projects that I’ve been working on recently and especially in the last few days is getting a brand-new save the frogs calm website and our brand new website will have full functionality for other languages and we will have the ability for people like rain al rainelle and others who have volunteered to assist in language translation will have the ability to have them submitting lots of Spanish content to the website so one of the best things I can suggest to rainelle is to start thinking about content and I would suggest it just keep it Columbia focused and start preparing some content for the website and we will give you access to the save the frogs calm / Columbia portion of the website where you will be able to submit lots of info in Spanish and hopefully get lots of Colombians going to the website I know that if English is not people’s first language then they probably don’t

spend too much time on the website so we appreciate your support with that and also the email that I sent out today to the save the frogs email list it had nine different Flyers on it at least one of those was in Spanish but if you have any interest in preparing Spanish versions of the Flyers that we’ve already made I can get you the PSD the Photoshop files for them oohs and you guys could get any graphic designer you know to help out and you guys can put them up and or create them in Spanish versions and we can get those on the website or if you want to make any flyers educational materials slideshows whatever you want audio recordings then I suggest start doing it or let’s talk and come up with a plan and then I will definitely help you get those distributed to the save the frogs community alright i’m looking through some new questions all right thank you to the person in Minneapolis st. Paul who can help get the atrazine word out to everybody and that’s all the questions that have been sent in so i’ll give you an extra 30 seconds right now to get your final potential question in and we’ll see if anything comes in and once again i thank everyone for your interest in save the frogs i encourage everybody to go to save the frogs calm / members in if you are not already a member please become an official member of saved frogs get lots of cool benefits for being a member and memberships also make great gifts so if you know a frog lover or someone who would be in to save the frogs and you can give them the gift of membership I haven’t gotten any more questions coming in so i will call that an end to this save the frogs webinar and once again thank you everybody have a great day