Subject: FW: SW BIODIVERSITY ALERT #169

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        SOUTHWEST CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
                 http://www.sw-center.org
        #169                              1-29-98
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o PETITION FILED TO LIST NEW MEXICO BUTTERFLY AS ENDANGERED
  Forest Service land trade would pave its habitat

o SALVAGE TIMBER SALE CHALLENGED

o SANTA ANA SUCKER PROPOSED FOR ESA PROTECTION

o LETTERS NEEDED: STOP GIVEAWAY OF PUBLIC LAND TO MINING GIANT

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PETITION FILED TO LIST NEW MEXICO BUTTERFLY AS ENDANGERED
On 1-26-98, the Southwest Center submitted an emergency petition
with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to list the Cloudcroft
checkerspot butterfly as an endangered species. The butterfly
is endemic to a high elevation meadows on about 6,000 acres of
the Sacramento Mountains in southern New Mexico.

Seventy percent of its habitat is on private lands where ensuring
conservation is difficult. The remaining 30% percent is on the
Lincoln National Forest where it should be afforded the absolute
priority for land management. The National Forest, however, is
proposing to give away 10% of the butterfly's range to the town of
Cloudcroft, NM to build a maintenance yard. While some endangered
species issues involve genuine social conflicts, driving a species
extinct to build a maintenance yard is the height of nihilism.
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SALVAGE TIMBER SALE CHALLENGED
On 1-19-99, the Southwest Center appealed the Leggett salvage timber
sale on the Gila national forest in southwest New Mexico. The forest
plans to log one million board feet from a 200 acre area which burned
in June, 1998. Over 75% of the sale's volume consists of trees over
16 inches in diameter, some up to 26 inches.  Numerous "temporary"
spur roads will be built, greatly increasing erosion, nutrient loss,
and sedimentation in an area already left sensitive by the burn.

The Forest Service violated NEPA by failing to take a 'hard look' at
the widely documented adverse effects of salvage logging, exceeding
road density standards. It also violated the Mexican Spotted Owl
Recovery Plan logging trees greater than 24" in diameter within pine
oak habitats.
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SANTA ANA SUCKER PROPOSED FOR ESA PROTECTION
On 1-26-99, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service proposed to list the Santa
Ana sucker as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.
The sucker formerly inhabited the Los Angeles, San Gabriel, and Santa
Ana River drainage systems in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San
Bernardino counties. It has been extirpated from 75% of its range and
is now restricted to three isolated populations in Big Tujunga Creek
(Los Angeles River drainage), the East, West, and North Forks of the
San Gabriel River, and the lower and middle Santa Ana River. An
introduced population also occurs in the Santa Clara River.

The petition to list the sucker was filed by Earth Justice on behalf of
a coalition of groups. The Southwest Center has filed a 60-day notice of
intent to sue the Army Corps of Engineers over the impacts of the nearly
complete Seven Oaks Dam on endangered species in the Santa Ana River.
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LETTERS NEEDED: STOP GIVEAWAY OF PUBLIC LAND TO MINING CONGLOMERATE

The Safford District of the BLM is planning to trade 17,000 acres
of public land to the Phelps Dodge corporation in exchange for
4,000 acres of the company's private holdings. The exchange would
allow PD to develop the Dos Pobres and San Juan deposits into two
enormous open pit copper mines. By privatizing the land, PD will
be exempt from most federal environmental laws.

Federal law requires land exchanges to be of equal value and in
the public interest, yet, Dos Pobres/San Juan would give PD four
acres for every one it trades away.  It would also allow access
to over 2 billion dollars in copper, in exchange for land valued at
only four million.

Please send comments to the BLM telling them that lining PD's
pockets is not in the public's interest.  Demand that the BLM
cease using land exchanges as another corporate subsidy:

                William Civish, District Manager
                Bureau of Land Management, Safford District,
                711 14th Avenue, Safford, AZ  85546




_____________________________________________________________________________

Kierán 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