SOUTHWEST CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
o SUIT AGAINST MASSIVE PERMIT TO KILL ENDANGERED SPECIES GROWS
o SUMMARY JUDGEMENT MOTION FILED IN QUEEN CHARLOTTE GOSHAWK CASE
o ARIZONA REPUBLICANS SEEK TO BAN WILDLIFE AGREEMENTS
o 1999 FEDERAL GRAZING FEE ANNOUNCED: STILL $1.35 PER AUM
o GOOD READING: WASTE OF THE WEST
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SUIT AGAINST MASSIVE PERMIT TO KILL ENDANGERED SPECIES GROWS
In what one newspaper called a "shock wave to San Diego developers,"
numerous local environmental groups joined a lawsuit originally filed
by the Southwest Center, the California Native Plant Society and
others on 12-10-98. The suit seeks to invalidate permits allowing the
killing of threatened and endangered wetland species under a
massive county wide plan designed to "balance" the interests of
protecting open space and endangered species with continued urban
Ninety five percent of Southern California's vernal pools have
already been destroyed. The plan, formerly thought to have broad
consensus, allows the destruction of 12% of the remaining pools.
Affidavits opposing further destruction were filed by two of
California's most renowned vernal pool ecologists, both of whom have
worked with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service on recovery plans for
vernal pool species.
The suit now includes the Southwest Center, the California Native
Plant Society, the Sierra Club, San Diego Audubon Society, San Diego
Herpetological Society, Earth Media Inc., Horned Lizard Conservation
Society, Preserve South Bay, Wetlands Actions Network, Save Our
Forests and Ranchlands, Carmel Mountain Conservancy, Preserve Wild
Santee, Iron Mountain Conservancy and Ramonans for Sensible Growth.
It is being argued by Neil Levine of EarthLaw, Dan Rohlf of the
Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center, and Tara Mueller.
SUMMARY JUDGEMENT MOTION FILED IN QUEEN CHARLOTTE GOSHAWK CASE
On 1-25-99, the Southwest Center, the Biodiversity Legal Foundation
and the Sitka Conservation Society filed a motion for summary
judgement in its case against the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for
refusing to consider the Queen Charlotte goshawk for protection
under the Endangered Species Act. We are seeking an order from
federal judge Stanley Sporkin, requiring the agency to formally
propose the Queen Charlotte goshawk as an endangered species.
The Queen Charlotte goshawk depends on old growth rainforest
habitats on the Tongass National Forest, insular British Columbia,
the Olympic Peninsula, and possibly the Washington and Oregon
coast ranges. Clearcutting has massively reduced the species
habitat and population. Despite an extensive survey effort, only
10 pairs were known to nest on the Tongass in 1996, and 18 in British
Columbia. Full protection for the goshawk will entail drastic
cutbacks in logging throughout the species range
We are represented by Kathy Meyer of Meyer & Glitzenstein.
1999 FEDERAL GRAZING FEE ANNOUNCED: STILL SUBSIDIZED AT $1.35 PER AUM
On 2-11-99 the Bureau of Land Management announced that the 1999 fee
for grazing cattle, horses, and sheep on federal public lands would
remain $1.35 per "animal unit month." This means $1.35 per month for
either one cow and calf, one horse, or 5 sheep. Try to feed your gold
fish on $1.35 a month.
Not only is this is a massive subsidy, it is the lowest possible fee
permitted by law. It is derived from a base value determined in 1966!
ARIZONA REPUBLICANS SEEK TO BAN WILDLIFE AGREEMENTS
The Republican dominated Arizona state legislature has introduced a
bill that would prohibit the Arizona Department of Game and Fish from
implementing any cooperative agreements with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife
Service to protect threatened or endangered species, unless the
agreement is first approved by both the house and senate and signed
by the Governor. Since all three are notoriously anti-wildlife, the
bill would essentially kill future agreements.
The original version of HB 2028 would have prohibited any person or
group from signing an agreement without approval from the legislature.
This version was directly aimed at settlement agreements between
environmentalists and the Forest Service which have dramatically reduced
logging and grazing levels in the Southwest in recent years. Luckily, it
was pointed out that such a bill would violate the U.S. constitution.
The final version is aimed at stopping many good initiatives by the
Arizona Department of Game and Fish, including reintroduction of the
endangered Gila trout to the Verde River Basin.
GOOD READING: WASTE OF THE WEST
Overgrazing harms more endangered species in the West than logging,
mining, farming, or development. The livestock industry uses 70%
of the West for grazing, most of it on public land. "Waste of the West"
by Lynn Jacobs explores the remarkably sordid, cruel, wasteful, and
destructive world of public lands ranching. Forget cowboy movies and
western novels, find out what really goes on out there in the vast
Waste of the West is 8 1/2" X 11", 602 pages, and heavily illustrated with
more than 1000 photos, drawings, cartoons, graphics, and maps. The book is
now available from our web site @
Kierán Suckling firstname.lastname@example.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