SOUTHWEST CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
o FOUR FORESTS AGREE TO IDENTIFY, PROTECT WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS
o SUIT FILED TO STOP CONSTRUCTION OF SEVEN OAKS DAM
o CONDOR SHOT, WOLF FOUND DEAD
o BEAVERS REINTRODUCED ON SAN PEDRO RIVER
o COMMENTS NEEDED ON SANTA ANA SUCKER LISTING PROPOSAL
FOUR FORESTS AGREE TO IDENTIFY, PROTECT WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS
In response to a suit by the Southwest Center and Amigos Bravos, four
NM National Forests (Gila, Cibola, Lincoln, and Carson) have agreed to
identify and protect up to 500 miles of rivers as under the Wild and
Scenic Rivers Act. Under the terms of a settlement, the Forests must
identify all rivers and streams within their boundaries which may be
eligible for designation as Wild or Scenic within two years. In the
interim, the Forests must ensure that all rivers and streams are not
Calling the suit a "...sensible plea that the feds just do their jobs,"
The Santa Fe New Mexican opined that the agreement is a "...promising
sign that streams in four Southwest forests will be in for serious study
and, perhaps, for protection."
In southern New Mexico, the Southwest Center has identified about 300
miles of river which qualify for protection under the Act including:
Lincoln National Forest- Sacramento River, Rio Penasco, Agua Chiquita
Creek, and Blue Water Creek;
Gila National Forest- Gila River (West, East and Middle Forks), Sapillo
Creek, Mogollon Creek, White Water Creek, Centerfire Creek, and Trout
Cibola National Forest- Las Huertas Creek, Juan Tabo Creek, Water Canyon,
Indian Creek, and Lobo Creek.
The suit was argued by David Gomez of the Western Environmental Law Center
SUIT FILED TO STOP CONSTRUCTION OF SEVEN OAKS DAM
The Southwest Center for Biological Diversity, California Native Plant
Society and Tri-County Conservation League filed suit in a Los Angeles
federal court on 3-18-99 to stop the Army Corps of Engineers from
continuing construction on the Seven Oaks Dam on the Santa Ana River. If
completed as planned, the dam will likely push the San Bernardino kangaroo
rat, Santa Ana River woolly star, and slender-horned spineflower to the
edge of extinction. It may also prevent the Santa Ana sucker from being
able to recover.
Flooding is the keystone process in Southwest river ecosystems. Carrying
silt from southern California's mountains, and dropping it in the lowlands,
floods create alluvial "fans" which the wooly star, spineflower, and kangaroo
rat live on. The fans are eventually colonized by dense woody vegetation,
however, forcing the species to move to newly created fans. By eliminating
natural flooding patterns, the Seven Oaks Dam will prevent the creation of
new alluvial fans even as the older fans are naturally overgrown, or are
paved over with developments. Entire towns such as Pasadena, Claremont, and
Rancho Cucamonga are built on old fans. Ninety percent of southern
alluvial fan sage scrub habitat has been destroyed.
The case is being argued by Babak Naficy (Los Angeles).
CONDOR SHOT, WOLF FOUND DEAD
A California condor, recently reintroduced to northwest Arizona atop the
Vermillion Cliffs, has been found dead of a gunshot wound in Grand Canyon
National Park. It is not known whether the bird was shot within the Park.
A 10 month old female Mexican gray wolf was found dead several days ago
along highway 191 in eastern Arizona north of the town of Clifton. She was
one of four wolves released into the Gila Headwaters ecosystem in March.
The cause of death has not been determined. Seven gray wolves remain in the
wild in two packs, further reintroduction are planned this spring.
BEAVERS REINTRODUCED ON SAN PEDRO RIVER
The Arizona Department of Fish & Game has reintroduced beavers to the
San Pedro River. Formerly widespread throughout large and small drainages
in the Southwest, beavers have been greatly reduced by the fur trade,
ongoing rodent control by ranchers and irrigators, loss or riparian
forests, and radically altered flooding regimes. The elimination of
beavers has profoundly affected southwestern rivers. Beavers once
dominated the stream morphology of the San Pedro and Little Colorado
Rivers so fully that the rivers were essentially massive linear wetlands
with hundreds of ponds flowing into one another.
Numerous imperiled species including the Southwestern willow flycatcher,
yellow-billed cuckoo, and Huachuca water umbel are closely associated
with beaver ponds and backwaters.
COMMENTS NEEDED ON SANTA ANA SUCKER LISTING PROPOSAL
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has proposed to list the Santa Ana sucker
as a Threatened species. Formerly abundant in the Los Angeles, San Gabriel
and Santa Ana rivers of the Los Angeles basin, the Santa Ana sucker has
been reduced to just three small remnant populations as a result of
urbanization and reservoir management. More threats loom as a result of
planned sluice flows from various reservoirs, recreational gold dredging and
the massive Seven Oaks Dam.
Write the Service today. Ask for an Endangered rather than a Threatened
listing, and insist that Critical Habitat be designated in all areas
for the sucker's recovery:
Field Supervisor, U.S.F.W.S. Carlsbad Field Office
2730 Loker Avenue West, Carlsbad CA 92008
Fax: (760) 431-9624
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