Frog, Frog on the Range
The future of environmentalism is here: ranchers and conservationists collaborating to build the first ever frog fence.
An Oregon spotted frog fence.
Just to be clear: The fence isn't spotted. The frog is.
The planned frog fence "is welcome news for the Oregon spotted frog,â€ said Noah Greenwald, science director at the Center for Biological Diversity.
The press release doesn't indicate whether Greenwald was serious, or slightly tongue-in-cheek.
The frog fence won't so much keep the froggies in, it will keep the cattle (aka frog stompers) out of critical spotted frog breeding habitat in Eastern Oregon.
To further aid the frogs, the enviros plan to reintroduce beaver. Beaver, or at least their ponds, are apparently good for the frog lifestyle, or so says the Center for Biological Diversity. The Center is perhaps best known for its passionate defense of Paris Hilton's "imperiled kinkajou" (or as Paris preferred to call the raccoon-like mammal, "Baby Luv").
It's unclear as to exactly what the frog fence will look like, beyond the fact it will prevent the cows of Jack Creek from continuing their bovine decimation of the Kermit-like creatures.
"I believe this is the first frog fence in the United States,â€ said James Johnston of Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics. â€œIt is definitely the first frog fence Iâ€™ve ever inspected."
(Tongue-in-cheek? It's your call.)
There IS at least one other known "frog fence." It's in Vermont and was created to save the leopard frogs from meeting their deaths in traffic. Leopard frogs, also spotted. Coincidence or â€¦ ?
For a graphic depiction of what happens to unfenced frogs in Vermont, go here.
While the Bush administration has been quick to build walls, it hasn't been quick to protect species like the spotted frog.
Jack Creek is actually one of fewer than 50 known sites where the frogs exist and with only 21 "frog egg masses" up against 400 cows, it's clearly not easy being green if you are an endangered frog on a cattle grazing allotment.