Subject: FW: SW BIODIVERSITY ALERT #119

Subject: SW BIODIVERSITY ALERT #119

       ------ SOUTHWEST BIODIVERSITY ALERT #119 ---------
       \                    2/21/98                     /
        \                                              /
         \ SOUTHWEST CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY  /
           ------------------------------------------
         
1. FOREST SERVICE ADMITS 80 GRAZING ALLOTMENTS VIOLATE E.S.A-
      MOTION FILED FOR IMMEDIATE JUDGMENT
2. SUIT IN WORKS TO SAVE ENDANGERED FLY- USFWS ALLOWED DEVELOPERS TO
      DESTROY CORE RESERVE WITHOUT A TAKE PERMIT OR BIOLOGICAL REVIEW
3. FOREST SERVICE PLANS TO CLEARCUT SACRED MOUNTAIN TO EXPAND SKI RESORT-
      PLEASE WRITE, CALL, OR FAX!

     *****     *****     *****     *****

FOREST SERVICE ADMITS 80 GRAZING ALLOTMENTS VIOLATE E.S.A-
MOTION FILED FOR IMMEDIATE JUDGMENT
In its response to a Southwest Center lawsuit challenging 92 grazing
allotments in the Gila River Basin, the Forest Service has admitted that
80 of the allotments have not undergone Endangered Species Act consultation
and could harm 15 endangered species: loach minnow, spikedace, Gila
topminnow, Gila trout, Apache trout, Sonora chub, razorback sucker, Little
Colorado River spinedace,Southwestern willow flycatcher, cactus ferruginous
pygmy owl, Mexican spotted owl, bald eagle, Canelo Hills ladies' tresses,
Huachuca water umbel, and Peregrine falcon.

Because of the unusual admission of guilt, the Southwest Center filed a
motion for "partial judgment on the pleadings" on 2/19/98. This will
expedite the final ruling, speeding up the timeline for injunctive relief.

The Southwest Center, Southwest Trout, and Sky Island Watch are
represented by Earthlaw (Denver) and Martin Bergoffen (Williams, OR).
     ______________________________

SUIT IN WORKS TO SAVE ENDANGERED FLY
On 1/22/98, the Southwest Center and the Endangered Habitats League
notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a dozen developers and
local governments that it would file suit to stop the destruction of the
last refuge of the critically endangered Delhi Sands flower-loving fly.
The fly is being driven to extinction by a deal so corrupt, even the
developers admit it is illegal. This is a classic example of how the U.S.
Fish and Wildife Service, in its obsessive quest to strike deals with
industry, is wiping out endangered species, their habitats, and the ESA.

The Agua Mansa Enterprise Zone is a 10,000 acre area stradling portions of
two counties and three cities. It is scheduled for intensive industrial
development, including a $120 million fibreboard plant already under
construction and a paper recycling plant to be built by an Australian
corporation. It is also essential habitat for the Delhi Sands flower-
loving fly, a beautiful native California insect.

In 1996, Michael Spear, head of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the
West Coast, struck a deal with the Agua Mansa Industrial Growth Association,
allowing them to take (i.e. destroy) the habitat of the endangered fly in
exchange for protecting a "core reserve" within the city limits of Colton,
CA. In blatant violation of the ESA, Spear exempted the Association from
the requirement to develop an Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) because he
knew the plan would never pass the scrutiny of his own biologists, the ESA,
or the National Environmental Policy Act. It gets worse: in 1997, Spear
struck another deal, this time with the City of Colton, allowing it develop
within the "core reserve" that was supposedly protected in the first deal.
Colton was also exempted from the HCP requirement. This was called a "win-win
solution that will benefit the environment and the economy" by Representative
George E. Brown (D, CA).

Doug Hinchliffe, executive vice president of Lowe Enterprises, which
manages the Agua Mansa Industrial Park, admitted that the deal is legally
flawed. Un-named developers told the Business Press that the SW Center and
the Endangered Habitats League are well-funded, have a high success rate in
court, and are serious about filing suit. They are right on two of three
counts at least.
     _________________________________

FOREST SERVICE PLANS TO CLEARCUT SACRED MOUNTAIN TO EXPAND SKI RESORT-
                 PLEASE WRITE, CALL, OR FAX!
The Coconino National Forest plans to allow Arizona Snowbowl to clearcut 66
acres on doko'osliid (San Francisco Peaks) to expand ski trails, and chair
lifts. Doko'osliid is sacred to the Navajo and Hopi people. Klee Benally, a
Navajo activist compared it to building a skateboard park in the Sistine
Chapel. Navajo and Hopi religious

In 1979, the Forest Service completed an E.I.S. authorizing the expansion.
Navajo and Hopi freedom of religion suits failed to stop it. Now, 19 years
later, the Forest Service plans to implement the plan without conducting a
new E.I.S. It instead plans to conduct a less rigorous environmental
assesment. A new E.I.S. is needed, however, because the project will harm
the threatened Mexican spotted owl, and public sentiment has changed.

Call the Coconino National Forest, tell them cancel the clearcuts, and that
a full E.I.S. is necessary:

  Forest Supervisor, Coconino National Forest
  2323 E. Greenlaw Lane   Phone 520.527.3600
  Flagstaff, AZ 86004     Fax   520.527.3620


_____________________________________________________________________________

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