Subject: Southwest Biodiversity Alert #11
*** *** Southwest Biodiversity Alert #11 *** ***
southwest center for biological diversity
JUDGE OKs FIRST SALVAGE RIDER TIMBER SALE IN SOUTHWEST
A Tucson Federal Judge gave the go ahead on a proposed fire salvage
sale in the Chiricahua Mountains (Coronado NF). The judge ruled
that under the salvage rider, the Forest Service was able to
categorically exclude the sale from environmental analysis even
though it violated the Mexican spotted owl Recovery Plan, USFWS
consultation procedures, and Forest Service conservation guidelines.
The sale is entirely within a spotted owl core area which was
deleted after the sale was planned. It is also within the home
range of nesting Northern goshawks. The Southwest Center is likely
to appeal the decision
TONTO NATIONAL FOREST WITHDRAWS APPEALED ALLOTMENT MANAGEMENT PLANS
The Tonto National Forest has withdrawn 5 proposed Allotment
Management Plans following independent appeals by the
Southwest Center and Forest Guardians/Jeff Burgess. The
AMP's would have allowed degradation of riparian areas within the
Eastern Roosevelt Lake Ecosystem Analysis Area, destroying habitat
for the Endangered Southwest willow flycatcher and Razorback sucker.
The Environmental Assessment failed to analyze the cumulative
impact of raising Roosevelt Dam which will kill 40% of
all known willow flycatchers in Arizona. The Bureau of Reclamation
has spent $3 million to raise Roosevelt dam, in part, because
overgrazing has caused it to silt in prematurely. The Forest Service
had proposed to another $250,000 of taxpayers money on range
"improvements" in order to keep cattle on the allotments.
The Southwest Center is also currently suing BuRec for failing
to prepare a supplemental NEPA analysis on the impacts of the dam
expansion on the flycatcher.
FORT HUACHUCA AGREES TO STUDY IMPACT OF FURTHER GROWTH ON
SAN PEDRO RIVER
Following a Federal court order finding that the Army had not
sufficiently studied the impact of expanding Fort Huachuca on the
nearby San Pedro River, the base has agreed to a Southwest Center
demand that an Environmental Assessment be conducted on a proposal
to add 150 new personel.
Unbridled base expansion hase been directly
tied to the drying up of the Southwest's only undammed river, and
the destruction of the nation's first National Riparian Conservation
Area. That icon of law & order, Representative Jim Kolbe, is "very
disappointed that the Army gave in to this extremist special
interest" by doing the Environmental Analysis.
GILA TROUT RECOVERY PLAN CHALLENGED
The Southwest Center has filed a 60 day notice of intent to sue the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service due to a wholly inadequate Gila Trout
Recovery Plan. The plan completely ignores the effects of
grazing on trout habitat. It only provides for downlisting, not delisting of the species. And finally, the plan focuses on reintroducing Gila Trout to individual headwater streams, whereas
the great weight of evidence indicates that only protection of entire
watersheds will guarantee continued existance of the Gila Trout.
Southwest Center for Biological Diversity
PO Box 17839, Tucson, AZ 85731-7839
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