Subject: FW: SW BIODIVERSITY ALERT #112


Subject: SW BIODIVERSITY ALERT #112

      ******* SOUTHWEST BIODIVERSITY ALERT #112 ***********
       *                    1/21/98                      *
        *                                               *
         *  SOUTHWEST CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY  *
          *                                           *
           *******************************************

1. APPEAL VICTORY: CLEAR CREEK TIMBER SALE TAKEN DOWN...FOR NOW
2. SEVEN BLM GRAZING ALLOTMENTS CHALLENGED BECAUSE OF THREAT TO
   ENDANGERED DESERT TORTOISE
3. PROTESTS FORCE CANCELLATION OF "EXTREME" PREDATOR HUNT
4. LOBBYIST WITH TIES TO GORE CONVINCED BABBITT TO APPROVE TAKE OF
   ENDANGERED SEA TURTLES

   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***

APPEAL VICTORY: CLEAR CREEK TIMBER SALE TAKEN DOWN...FOR NOW
The Coconino National Forest was ordered to withdraw the Clear Creek
Timber Sale on 1/13/97. The regional office affirmed the Southwest
Center's appeal because the selected alternative was not contained in
the Environemental Assessement. The sale would have logged 1,067 acres,
including 182 acres of "overstory removal," a near clearcut condition.
It would have damaged habitat for goshawks, spotted owls, flamulated
owls, migratory songbirds, and wild turkey.

The Coconino decision would have logged 26,342 trees, 188 of them
ponderosa pines over 18 inches in diameter.
     ________________________

SEVEN BLM GRAZING ALLOTMENTS CHALLENGED BECAUSE OF THREAT TO
ENDANGERED DESERT TORTOISE
On 1/16/98, the Southwest Center filed an official "protest" challenging
seven BLM grazing allotments within critical habitat for the endangered
desert tortoise in southeast California. The Desert Tortoise Recovery
Plan expressly calls for an end to grazing within tortoise habitat:

  "...there are no data showing that continued livestock grazing is
  compatible with recovery of the desert tortoise... Because tortoise
  recovery is the goal of management within DWMAs, until such data are
  forthcoming, no grazing should be permitted within the DWMAs."

The BLM's own biologists recommended closing the Ord Mountain allotment
because it is so badly overgrazed:

   "is insufficient to support continued livestock grazing without
   causing further negative impact to the vegetative resources and
   continued violation of healthy rangeland fallback standards and
   guidelines."

They were overuled by agency bureaucrats, however. Separate protests were
filed by  NRDC, Spirit of the Sage Council, Desert Tortoise Council,
Desert Protective Council, and the Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee.
     ________________________

PROTESTS FORCE CANCELLATION OF "EXTREME" PREDATOR HUNT
Following massive public outcry, the organizers of "Predator Hunt Extreme
98" have cancelled their sickening $10,000 contest to see who can kill
the most wildlife in two days. According to the rules, hunters would
accrue points by killing bobcats, mountain lions, coyotes, and fox. A
dead female bobcat is worth 60 points, a male mountain lion 100 points,
a female fox 15 points, etc.
     __________________________

LOBBYIST WITH TIES TO GORE CONVINCED BABBITT TO APPROVE TAKE OF
ENDANGERED SEA TURTLES
According to Greenlines, an alert service by GREEN: "The 1/11 New York Times
reported Volusia County, FL, hired a Democratic fundraiser/lobbyist with
close ties to Vice-President Al Gore to obtain a US Fish and Wildlife Service
permit allowing "incidental" killing of endangered sea turtles. 
Environmentalists say the measure is insufficient to protect nesting
turtles and hatchlings.  The lobbyist met twice with Interior Secretary
Babbitt.  Local lawyer Lesley Blackner and others implied the
lobbyist's meetings with Babbitt influenced the agency's decision. 
Said Blackner: 'We trusted the system.  We thought we'd get a fair day
in court and that the permit application would be evaluated by the
rules.  But once [the lobbyist] came on the scene it became apparent
that no one was playing by the rules and that the rules didn't matter.'"



_____________________________________________________________________________

Kieran Suckling                               ksuckling@sw-center.org
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