Subject: SW BIODIVERSITY ALERT #113
******* SOUTHWEST BIODIVERSITY ALERT #113 ***********
* 1/21/98 *
* SOUTHWEST CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY *
1. SW CENTER TO SUE FOREST SERVICE FOR VIOLATING SPOTTED OWL
RECOVERY PLAN AND BIOLOGICAL OPINION
2. SW FOREST SERVICE HEAD RETIRES FOLLOWING INSPECTOR GENERAL
3. ARIZONA DAILY STAR: HCPs QUESTIONABLE, NO SURPRISES BAD
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SW CENTER TO SUE FOREST SERVICE FOR VIOLATING SPOTTED OWL
RECOVERY PLAN AND BIOLOGICAL OPINION
On 1/21/98, the Southwest Center formally notified the U.S. Forest
it will sue over violations of the Mexican spotted owl Recovery Plan,
the taking spotted owls without a take permit, and the refusal of the
agency to reinitiate consultation under the Endangered Species Act.
In sixty days (March 20, 1998), the Southwest Center seek an immediate
injunction against all logging on all 11 SW National Forests, until the
Forest Service complies with the Recovery Plan and the E.S.A.
In August, 1995, a federal judge enjoined all logging on National
Forests in Arizona and New Mexico until the Forest Service consulted
with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the impacts of logging
on the threatened Mexican spotted owl. The injunction was lifted in
December, 1996, when the Forest Service agreed to implement the Mexican
Spotted Owl Recovery Plan. To minimize the impact of logging, the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service required the Forest Service to comply with
certain "terms and conditions," including monitoring of Mexican spotted
owl populations and habitats.
The Forest Service immediately began logging, but failed to implement
the monitoring requirements- it is in violation of the E.S.A. for not
implementing the recovery plan, not implementing the terms and
conditions, taking spotted owls without a take permit, and failing to
reinitiate consultation under the Endangered Species Act.
SW FOREST SERVICE HEAD RETIRES FOLLOWING INSPECTOR GENERAL
On December 31, 1997, Charles Cartwright, head of the Southwest
Region of the U.S. Forest Service retired under a cloud of
suspicion for sexual harrasment and creating a hostile work
environment. Though environmentalists called for his replacement
during an investigation by the Department of Agriculture's inspector
general, the Forest Service has refused to release the final report.
This is the second time in three years that the head of the Southwest
Region has retired upon investigation by the Department of Agriculture.
Larry Henson retired in 1995 following an investigation in charges
of racism, harrasment of agency biologists, allowing timber theft,
and preventing reforms in the agencies timber program. The final
report of that investigation was also never released to the public.
ARIZONA DAILY STAR: HCPs QUESTIONABLE, NO SURPRISES BAD
A 1/21/98 editorial by the Arizona Daily Star questions the scientific
validity of many "habitat conservation plans" and argues that the
Clinton Administration should not reinstate its controversial "no
surprises" policy. So called "habitat conservation plans" are permits
issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to private landowners
(private industry more often) to kill or harm endangered species. The
editorial cites a recent review of 206 HCPs by a team of 119 scientists
which concluded that they are too often based on poor science. The Daily
Star recommends that an HCP should only be contemplated where "voluminous
biological data exists to support it."
"No surprises" is a Clinton policy which mandates that HCPs will
continue to operate unchanged, regardless of whether they are found
to not work, or to endanger other species. According to the Daily Star,
Clinton should take advantage of the current moratorium on "no surprises"
to "terminate that form of planning, which concedes too absolute a freedom
from future stewardship responsibility to developers and others."
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