Sonora, Ca — A collection of conservation groups have put up a $1,500 reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for damaging the Groundhog Meadow in the Stanislaus National Forest.
On June 24th, Forest Service researchers saw a blue pickup truck loaded with motorcycles making a hasty retreat from the area. The team entered the meadow on foot and found it terribly scarred with deep wheel ruts.
The meadow was being used for a five year study to monitor the habitat of the Yosemite Toad. The deep cuts drained a shallow layer of water off the meadow, stranding eggs and tadpoles.
Karen Schamebach, California Coordinator for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) has issued a statement reading, “This is not recreation; this is inexcusable vandalism. The perpetrators need to be held accountable, and the message needs to get out that this kind of activity will not be tolerated.”
Offering the reward money are PEER, Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation and the Center for Biological Diversity. Anyone with information can call the California Fish and Game Environmental Crime Hotline at 1-888-334-2258 or the Stanislaus National Forest at 209-532-3671.
Anyone wishing to contribute additional reward money can call Schambach at 530-333-2545.
The study was a collaborative effort between scientists from the Forest Service Pacific Southwest Sierra Nevada Research Center, University of California at Berkeley and Yosemite National Park.
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