Subject: FW: SW BIODIVERSITY ALERT #174

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        SOUTHWEST CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
                 http://www.sw-center.org
        #174                               2-25-98
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o SUIT FILED TO PROTECT WESTERN GOSHAWKS AND FORESTS
o APACHES SEIZE MINE'S WATERS FOR FISH & WILDLIFE
o BUREAUCRATIC DELAYS ENDANGER RARE BEETLE
o RULING UPHOLDS RIGHT TO CURTAIL DAMAGING GRAZING ON PUBLIC LAND

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SUIT FILED TO PROTECT WESTERN GOSHAWKS AND FORESTS
The Southwest Center and a coalition of 18 environmental groups filed
suit in a Portland Federal Court on 2-25-99 to list the Northern goshawk
as an endangered species in every western state. Since 1996, the U.S.
Fish & Wildlife Service has lost three consecutive lawsuits over its
refusals to list the Northern and Queen Charlotte goshawks under the
Endangered Species Act. It is currently in court over the latter in a
Washington, DC Federal Court. Today's is the fifth goshawk suit since
1996.

The Northern goshawk formerly occupied mature and old growth forests in
every state in the West. Logging eliminated it from southern California
and the coast ranges of central California. It is virtually extirpated
from the rest of the coast ranges in California, Oregon, and Washington.
It has also declined throughout the interior West.

Other plaintiffs include: The Center For Biological Diversity,
Biodiversity Associates, Biodiversity Legal Foundation, Sky Island Watch,
Blue Mountain Biodiversity Project, Carson Forest Watch, Ecology Center,
Environmental Protection Information Center, Hell's Canyon Preservation
Council, Klamath Forest Alliance, Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center,
Maricopa Audubon Society, Northwest Ecosystem Alliance, Oregon Natural
Resources Council, Predator Project, T & E Inc., Wild Utah Forest
Campaign, and Friends of Nevada Wilderness. We are represented in this
case by Dan Rohlf of the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center and Matt
Kenna of Kenna & Hickcox.
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APACHES SEIZE MINE'S WATERS FOR FISH AND WILDLIFE
In early February, the San Carlos Apache Tribe forcibly shut down a
pumping station on the Black River which is used by the Phelps Dodge
Corporation to supply water to its massive Morenci open pit mine. The
pump, which is on the San Carlos Reservation, is used to move water from
the Black River (Salt River Drainage), into Willow Creek (Gila River
Drainage), where it flows down to Eagle Creek before being pumped
once again, this time to the mine on the San Francisco River.

The tribe closed down the pump because Phelps Dodge will not agree to
leave enough water in the Black River to maintain fish and wildlife
populations.
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BUREAUCRATIC DELAYS ENDANGER RARE BEETLE
On 2-19-99, the Southwest Center officially notified the U.S. Fish &
Wildlife Service it will file suit unless the agency immediately lists
the Ohlone Tiger Beetle (Cicindela Ohlone) as endangered and takes
action to halt projects which threaten its existence. Southwest Center
member Grey Hayes petitioned to list the beetle under an emergency rule
in April, 1998. The Fish & Wildlife Service not only failed to issue an
emergency rule, it is seven months late on the normal requirement to
make an initial determination within 90 days.

The tiger beetle is restricted to less than 2,000 acres of coastal
terrace prairie habitat in Santa Cruz County, California. Four of the
five known populations are threatened with imminent destruction due to
development and mountain biking trails.

Brendan Cummings (Berkeley, CA) is representing the Southwest Center.
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RULING UPHOLDS RIGHT TO CURTAIL DAMAGING GRAZING ON PUBLIC LAND
On 2-24-99, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the federal
government's right to limit cattle grazing on public lands. Lawyers
for Kit Laney whose cattle numbers on the Gila National Forest's Diamond
Bar Allotment were cut because of their harm to wildlife and
watersheds, argued that Laney's water right on the land implicitly
conferred a grazing right under an obscure 1866 Mining Act. If successful,
the suit would have greatly reduced the ability of the U.S. Forest
Service and Bureau of Land Management to manage cattle on public lands
and protect watershed from overgrazing. The Appeals Court ruled that
water rights do not confer a property right on federal land.

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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