SOUTHWEST CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
§ PROTECTION FOR NATIVE PLANTS PAYING OFF:
- CA & OR PLANTS LISTED AS ENDANGERED
- PETITION FILED TO PROTECT RARE UT/AZ PLANTS
§ NEW MEXICO WOLF CAMPAIGN GAINING STEAM:
- NEW YORK TIMES AD CAUSES SOUTHWEST STIR
- EDITORIAL: NEW YORK WOLF PLAN MAY MAKE
SOUTHWEST RANCHERS LOOK "MEAN-SPIRITED"
COMPLAINT LEADS TO LISTING OF 3 RARE CA/OR PLANTS
On 5-26-99, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service listed three California
plants as endangered in response to a formal notice of intent to sue
by the Southwest Center and the Center for Biological Diversity. The
three plants are among 33 species the Centers have planned to sue
over to gain Endangered Species Act listing and protection.
Howell's Spectacular Thelypody, reduced to just 11 sites within 100
acres of private lands near North Powder and Haines in eastern
Oregon (Baker and Union counties), is threatened by agricultural and
urban development, livestock grazing, competition from non-native
plants, and disruption of wetland hydrology. Relatives of Howell's
spectactular thelypody in the mustard family are important food
crops, such as cabbage and broccoli, and ornamentals such as
alyssum and peppergrass. It was listed as a threatened species.
Ione Buckwheat and Ione Manzanita were listed as endangered
and threatened respectively under the ESA. The two species
are imperiled by mining, residential and commercial development,
off-road vehicles, and fire suppression. Ione buckwheat, a small
perennial herb, has been reduced to 11 locations in Amador County.
Ione manzanita, a perennial low-growing shrub with olive-green
leaves and berry-like fruit has been reduced to 17 sites in Amador
and Calaveras County.
PETITION FILED TO PROTECT RARE UT/AZ PLANTS
On 6-2-99, the Southwest Center and the Southern Utah
Wilderness Association filed a formal petition with the U.S. Fish
& Wildlife Service to list Holmgren's milkvetch (Astragulus
holmgreniorum Barneby) and the Shivwit's milkvetch (Astragulus
ampullarioides Welsh) as endangered species.Both species
occur near St. George Utah and neighboring Mohave
County, Arizona. They are threatened by the rapid development
around St. George, cattle grazing, and off-road vehicles.
Holmgren's milkvetch occurs in just three areas within a 7-10
mile radius to the south, west and northeast of St. George. The
majority of its range is within Washington County, Utah, but it
also occurs in Mohave County, AZ. There are only a total of
about 5,000 individual plants remaining. Shivwits milkvetch
occurs in just 5 sites in Washington County, west and
northeast of St. George, and on and near the Shivwits Indian
Reservation. There are only about 2,000 individual plants left.
NEW YORK TIMES AD CAUSES SOUTHWEST STIR
On 5-3-99, the Southwest Center ran a full page ad in the New
York Times calling on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to
reintroduce wolves to New Mexico's massive Gila/Aldo Leopold
Wilderness complex. The agency wants the wolves to migrate to
the Gila, one of the most extensive wilderness/roadless areas in
the Lower 48, but won't directly put them there because of
opposition by the New Mexico livestock industry. The ad also
denounced the livestock industry's "slaughter of thousands of
wolves, bears, mountain lions, jaguars, deer, antelope, and
In addition to putting national pressure on Bruce Babbitt to bring
wolves back to New Mexico, the ad has generated tremendous
regional debate. An Associated Press story about the ad ran in
most Arizona and New Mexico papers, and was subsequently
picked up by radio news stations in both states. The
Albuquerque Tribune invited the Southwest Center and the
New Mexico Cattle Grower's Association to debate the pros
and cons of New Mexico wolf reintroduction in a full page
spread on 5-26-99. The Santa Fe New Mexican ran a story on
the ad in its outdoor section.
To see a copy of the ad, and to check out the Southwest Center's
"Wolf Safe Haven Plan" to bring wolves back to New Mexico:
EDITORIAL: NEW YORK WOLF PLAN MAY MAKE
SOUTHWEST RANCHERS LOOK "MEAN-SPIRITED"
One upping Representative Joe Skeen's (R-NM) cynical endorsement
of a bill to reintroduce wolves to New York's Catskill Mountains, the
Southwest Center has also endorsed the bill, noting that NY activists
want wolves back in the Adirondacks. Skeen made the announcement
hoping to play up on the illusion that wolves are being forced on New
Mexico by eastern urbanites. He failed to mention, however, that the
majority New Mexicans, including those within the wolf release area,
support the plan.
The 4-23-99 Santa Fe New Mexican quoted the Southwest Center
calling Skeen "cynical and facetious..[but he] has accidentally
stumbled into reality" and will withdraw "the instant he finds out this
actually makes sense, and is actually a viable plan the public wants
to see. He's really stuck his foot in his mouth this time."
In a 4-26-99 editorial, the Santa Fe New Mexican doubted Skeen's
sincerity, but mused that if:
"the farmers and the resort-owners of southeastern New York
welcome the timber wolf to the comparably tiny habitat of the
Catskills, it would make New Mexico-Arizona ranchers, on their
vast and federally augmented spreads look truly mean-spirited for
refusing to share the land with an orginal inhabitat."
Kierán Suckling email@example.com
Executive Director 520.623.5252 phone
SW Center for Biological Diversity 520.623.9797 fax
http://www.sw-center.org pob 710, tucson, az 85702-0710