Subject: SW BIODIVERSITY ALERT #109
******* SOUTHWEST BIODIVERSITY ALERT #109 ***********
* 1/9/98 *
* SOUTHWEST CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY *
1. APPEAL VICTORY: SCOTT TIMBER SALE PLAN DECISION OVERTURNED
2. SUIT FILED TO LIST ARIZONA SNAIL AS ENDANGERED SPECIES
3. THREE SPRING DWELLING INVERTEBRATES LISTED AS ENDANGERED
4. ROOSEVELT DAM SUIT THROWN OUT OF COURT; DECISION APPEALED
**** ***** ***** ***** *****
APPEAL VICTORY: SCOTT TIMBER SALE PLAN DECISION OVERTURNED
The Southwest regional headquarters of the U.S. Forest Service
has affirmed the Southwest Center's appeal of the Scott Timber Sale
on the Kaibab National. The Center argued that the plan to log
5,000 acres on south side of the Grand Canyon was illegal because
the Forest refused to even consider an alternative approach that
protects all the old growth and large trees.
The Forest claimed it must cut the large trees because they contain
dwarf mistletoe, a native parasite of western ponderosa pines. Dr.
Michael Pollock of the 10,000 Years Institute and Kieran Suckling
of the Southwest Center, however, have produced a research paper
showing that mistletoe provides important habitat and food for a
large array of species including songbirds, Mexican spotted owls,
and Northern goshawks. The largest mistletoe infected trees are the
most ecologically valuable. The spread of mistletoe can be slowed
without cutting of large trees. The paper was published by the
Southwest Forest Alliance.
SUIT FILED TO LIST ARIZONA SNAIL AS ENDANGERED SPECIES
On 1/9/98, the Southwest Center filed suit against the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service for failing to list the rare San Xavier talussnail
as an endagered species. The beautiful hermaphroditic snail lives in
a single area measuring 50 feet by 100 feet in the Mineral Hills south
of Tucson. It was proposed for listing in 1994, but as usual, the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife has refused to make a final decision unless hauled
into court first.
The Center is represented by Geoff Hickcox of Kenna & Hickcox (Durango,
THREE SPRING DWELLING INVERTEBRATES LISTED AS ENDANGERED
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, on 12/18/97, listed the Comal Springs
riffle beetle, Comal Springs dryopid, and Peck's cave amphipod as
endangered species. All three are threatened by water pumping and water
pollution throughout the San Antoni segment of the Edwards Aquifer.
The three spring dwellers are among a group of 95 species the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service has allowed to dwindle toward extinction by stalling on
final listing decisions. On May 13, 1997, the Southwest Center filed
official notice that would sue to list all 95 species as endangered unless
the Service took immediate action to protect them. Since then, the Service
has scrambled to list 41 of the species as endangered.
ROOSEVELT DAM SUIT THROWN OUT OF COURT; DECISION APPEALED
A Phoenix judge, on 12/11/97, ruled that the Southwest Center can not sue
the Bureau of Reclamation for destroying a critical population of
endangered Southwester willow flycatchers. The Bureau, with the approval
of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is flooding out the entire
Roosevelt Lake population in order to increase the size of the dam which
blocks both the Salt River and Tonto Creek.
The Judge ruled that the suit can not proceed unless the Southwest Center
also sues the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community because they are
entitled to a portion of the water to be stored. The Community, however,
can not be sued because of tribal sovereignty, and therefore the case as
a whole was dismissed. The ruling was worded to only apply to this case,
but is disturbing for environmental law nonetheless.
The Southwest Center, represented by Kenna and Hickcox (Durango, CO), has
appealed the decision to the 9th Circuit, arguing that the Communities'
water rights are not affected by the suit, and that the Communities can
continue to recieve water from alternate government sources while the
Bureau of Reclamation conducts an E.I.S. on the dam enlargement project.
Kieran Suckling email@example.com
Executive Director 520.623.5252 phone
Southwest Center for Biological Diversity 520.623.9797 fax
http://www.sw-center.org pob 710, tucson, az 85702-710