Subject: SW Biodiversity Alert #13
*** *** Southwest Biodiversity Alert #12 *** ***
southwest center for biological diversity
*** *** **** *** ***
SOUTHWEST CENTER CHALLENGES OPERATON OF THREE DAMS
ISABELLA DAM, CA. The Southwest Center has filed a 60-day notice of
intent to sue Army Corps of Engingeers and the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service over their plans to innundate Southwestern willow
flycatcher nests on the Kern River by raising the level of Isabella
Reservior. The Center also charges that Army Corps illegally "took"
seven pairs of flycatchers in 1995 by filling the Reservior without
an incidental take permit.
Isabella Reservior is supposed to be maintained at a moderate
level so that it has the capacity to absorb flood waters which could
threaten downstream Bakersfield, CA. Powerful corporate irrigators,
however, have managed to obtain "variances" in 13 of the past 20
years, allowing them to fill the Reservoir to dangerous levels.
This year'S variance was granted at a press conference by Jon
Garamandi, Assistant Secretary of Interior. Accompanied by
Congressman Dooley, Garmanadi announced that the USFWS would not
issue a jeopardy opinion and that the Reservior should be filled to
the brim immediately. Dooley express his hope that as many
flycatcher nests as possible be drowned.
ROOSEVELT DAM, AZ. Bureau of Reclamation has spent over $4 million
rebuilding Arizona's first dam to increase capacity due to high
sedimentation rates (cattle) and greed (corporate farmers). Raising
the reservior will drown 30% of all Southwestern willow flycatchers
in Arizona. Incredibly, BuRec issued a FONSI on the dam enlargement.
The Southwest Center has filed suit under NEPA to force a
The Southwestern willow flycatcher is down to 300 pairs.
"Extinction is foreseeable" according to the U.S. Fish and Wildife
Service. Approximately 20% of all known nests are scheduled to be
destroyed in 1996 by Roosevelt Dam, Isabella Dam, and various
construction and development projects.
BLUE RIDGE DAM, AZ. Phelps Dodge "accidently" built this dam on
Forest Service land in the 1950s. Now Phelps Dodge, the Forest
Service, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission are playing
hot potato over who is responsible for NEPA and ESA compliance.
The Southwest Center has filed a 60-Day Notice of intent to sue the
Forest Service under the ESA.
The Blue Ridge Reservior is a collection point, allowing Phelps
Dodge to pump water out of the Little Colorado River Basin, over a
ridge, to their mining operation in the Gila River Basin. In the
process they are dewatering habitat for the endangered Little
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