California State Amphibian Declaration bill by Asm. V. Manuel Pérez signed by Governor Brown

Sacramento, California - Majority Floor Leader V. Manuel Pérez is pleased to share the news that his bill declaring the California red-legged frog the state amphibian has been signed into law by the Governor.  AB 2364 (Chapter 77, Statutes of 2014) adds the California red-legged frog to the list of official state symbols, joining the grizzly bear (state mammal), sequoia (state tree), and California golden poppy (state flower), among others.

“I’m very pleased that this is the first of my bills this year to be signed by the Governor,” said Pérez.  “As a former educator, working with Sea View Elementary students and staff has been very gratifying for me.  I want to particularly thank students Samantha Lambarena and Freedom Payne.  This success of this bill is a validation of their vision, hard work, and persistence. I’m so proud of them and I hope that others will be inspired by their actions.”

Late last year, Pérez was contacted by Sea View Elementary students, asking him to author a bill declaring the threatened California red-legged frog as the official state amphibian. Impressed by their work and enthusiasm, and seeing it as an opportunity to put learning into action, he introduced the measure in March. In April, Payne, Lambarena, their teacher Viriginia Haddad, and local school officials traveled to Sacramento and the students testified in support of the bill before the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks & Wildlife.

The California red-legged frog is the largest native frog in the western United States and is found almost exclusively in California.  Its role in California’s history can be traced back to the 19th century gold rush, when it was an abundant species that sustained miners who consumed nearly 80,000 frogs per year. Its prevalence in the state also led author Mark Twain to feature the frog in one of his earliest short stories, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. Due to a number of environmental pressures, the species is listed as a threatened species under the state and federal Endangered Species Acts.  Though designation as an official state amphibian does not confer any new protections, status as a state symbol would spotlight its significance to California history, culture, and ecology.

Sea View Elementary is located in the small town of Salton City on the western shore of the Salton Sea. It serves the isolated communities situated near the Sea in southeastern California.

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