I can't speak to the veracity of this letter, but I did verify that the named FG&W biologist is a real person.
The State of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife sends a letter to a home/landowner asking for permission to access a creek on his property to document the decline in a certain species of unheard of frogs. The property owners' response in the second letter is EPIC.
Letter from Washington Dept. Of Fish & Wildlife:
WDFWR Staff will be conducting surveys for foothill yellow-legged frogs & other amphibians over the next few months. As part of this research we would like to survey the creek on your property. I am writing this letter to request your permission to access your property.
Recent research indicates that foothill yellow-legged frogs have declined significantly in recent years and are no longer found at half their historic sites. Your cooperation will be greatly appreciated and will help contribute to the conservation of this important species.
Please fill out the attached postage-paid postcard and let us know if you are willing to let us cross your property or not.
If you have any concerns about this project please give us a call. We would love to talk with you about our research.
Conservation Strategy Implementation Biologist
RESPONSE FROM LANDOWNERS:
Dear Mr. Niemela:
Thank you for your inquiry regarding accessing our property to survey for the yellow-legged frog. We may be able to help you out with this matter.
We have divided our 2.26 acres into 75 equal survey units with a draw tag for each unit. Application fees are only $8.00 per unit after you purchase the "Frog Survey License" ($120.00 resident / $180.00 Non-Resident). You will also need to obtain a "Frog Habitat" parking permit ($10.00 per vehicle).
You will also need an "Invasive Species" stamp ($15.00 for the first vehicle and $5.00 for each add'l vehicle) You will also want to register at the Check Station to have your vehicle inspected for Non-native plant life prior to entering our property. There is also a Day Use fee, $5.00 per vehicle.
If you are successful in the Draw you will be notified two weeks in advance so you can make necessary plans and purchase your "Creek Habitat" stamp. ($18.00 Resident / $140.00 Non-Resident).
Survey units open between 8 am. And 3 PM. But you cannot commence survey until 9 am. And must cease all survey activity by 1 PM.
Survey Gear can only include a net with a 2" diameter made of 100% organic cotton netting with no longer than an 18 in handle, non-weighted and no deeper than 6' from net frame to bottom of net. Handles can only be made of BPA-free plastics or wooden handles.
After 1 PM. You can use a net with a 3" diameter if you purchase the "Frog Net Endorsement" ($75.00 Resident / $250 Non-Resident).
Any frogs captured that are released will need to be released with an approved release device back into the environment unharmed.
As of June 1, we are offering draw tags for our "Premium Survey" units and application is again only $8.00 per application.
However, all fees can be waived if you can verify "Native Indian Tribal rights and status".
You will also need to provide evidence of successful completion of "Frog Surveys" and your "Comprehensive Course on Frog Identification, Safe Handling Practices, and Self-Defense Strategies for Frog Attacks."
This course is offered on-line through an accredited program for a nominal fee of $750.00.
Please let us know if we can be of assistance to you. Otherwise, we decline your access to our property but appreciate your inquiry.
Name of landowner omitted.