California Red-Legged Frogs at Big Gun Conservation Bank


The CRLF, made famous by the Mark Twain story of the “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”, is federally listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The CRLF was once an abundant species which was spread throughout western California and northwest Baja. However mining activities, intensive agriculture and development has dramatically reduced the number of frogs found throughout this area.

The Big Gun Conservation Bank located in Michigan Bluff, Placer County has the largest number CRLFs in the entire Sierra Nevada. This single population is so large and robust that Dr. Gary Fellers, a premier CRLF research scientist for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) remarked “…preserving the Big Gun site would significantly benefit the CRLF(Fellers, pers.comm. 2007).”

In 2008, Westervelt Ecological Services (WES) purchased the property to assist in the recovery goals for the CRLF in the Sierras. WES has permitted the site as a conservation bank – a milestone which provides full protection of this property and its special population of frogs. Given the ecological importance of this property, the Bank is approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to sell mitigation credits for the entire Sierra Nevada range of the California red-legged frog. Projects moving forward in within the Sierra Nevada range can purchase credits to offset impacts to the Red-legged frog.

For more information about the bank and the CRLF visit the project page.