SOUTHWEST CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
§ ENVIRO & FISHING GROUPS SUE TO LIST RIO
GRANDE CUTTHROAT TROUT AS ENDANGERED
§ GILA NATIONAL FOREST GRAZING PERMIT APPEALED
§ SUIT TO CHALLENGE LARGEST MINE IN NATIONAL
§ COMMENTS NEEDED TO STOP UTAH TIMBER SALE
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ENVIRO & FISHING GROUPS SUE TO LIST RIO GRANDE
CUTTHROAT TROUT AS AN ENDANGERED SPECIES
On 6-9-99, the Southwest Center for Biological Diversity,
Trout Unlimited (Rio Grande Chapter), Southwest Trout,
Sierra Club (Rio Grande Chapter), Carson Forest Watch and
the Biodiversity Legal Foundation filed a lawsuit against the
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to list New Mexico's state fish
as an endangered species.
In February, 1998, the groups filed a comprehensive status
review and petition demonstrating that the Rio Grande cutthroat
trout has disappeared from 95% of its range and is continuing to
decline due to logging, overgrazing, water diversions, and
competition and hybridization with exotic game trout. Although
the Fish & Wildlife Service agreed the species has declined
by 95%, it declared that the extensive petition did not present
sufficient information to warrant further study of the trout's
condition. Instead, the agency concluded that a hodge-podge of
unimplemented draft conservation plans adequately protect the
trout. It also illegally counted extirpated and hybridized trout
"populations" in order to make the species's status look
GILA NATIONAL FOREST GRAZING PERMIT CHALLENGED
The Southwest Center has appealed the re-issuance of a grazing
permit for the Corduroy allotment on the Gila National Forest. The
plan would double the level of summer grazing in the headwaters
of the East Fork of the Gila River, destroying important habitat
for the loach minnow and spikedace, two threatened fish.
In response to a Southwest Center petition, the two "threatened"
fish have been declared to warranted uplisting to "endangered"
status. Though the Forest agreed last year to remove cattle from
hundreds of miles of fish bearing streams in response to a
barrage of lawsuits, it continues to allow grazing on areas which
are not currently occupied by the loach minnow and spikedace,
thereby ensuring the habitat will never recover and the fish
will never return.
SUIT TO CHALLENGE LARGEST MINE IN NATIONAL
On 5-9-99, the Southwest Center, National Parks and Conservation
Association, Friends of Mojave National Park, and the Western
Mining Action Project filed a formal notice of intent to sue the U.S.
Park Service to shut down the largest mine within the 84 million acre
National Park System.
The Cinder Cima Mine strips away 7,500 tons of cinder each
year from one of the cinder cones "protected" in the Cinder Cones
National Natural Landmark. Not only is the mine within the
Mojave National Preserve, it is also destroying designated critical
habitat for the endangered desert tortoise.
The Park Service inherited the mine in 1994 when Congress
created the Preserve. The mining company's "temporary approval"
was revoked in 1996 because it refused to abide by environmental
restrictions. Incredibly, the Park Service has allowed the
corporation to continue mining in the Preserve with no permit,
plan, or permission.
LETTERS NEEDED TO STOP MASSIVE UTAH
Utah's Manti-La Sal National Forest is accepting comments on
the horrendous South Manti timber sale. Touted as a response to
spruce beetle infestations, this salvage sale would log 40 million
board feet of "dead and dying" Engelmann spruce, construct 10
miles of road, reconstruct another 45 miles, and helicopter log 7
million board feet of timber from five designated roadless areas.
Over 60% of the Heliotrope roadless area would be logged. The
sale would impact the imperiled northern goshawk, Utah's largest
elk herd (2,500 strong), and several populations of the threatened
Heliotrope Milk-Vetch (Astragalus montii).
The Southwest Center and the Wild Utah Forest Campaign
successfully appealed and stopped the South Manti timber sale in
1997. Since then the Washington office of the Forest Service
has temporarily suspended road construction in roadless areas.
While flawed in many ways, the intent of the policy is to protect
islands of intact habitat within roaded, logged and degraded
landscapes. The use of helicopters to log without building roads is
a cynical attempt to exploit loopholes in the policy and carry on
business as usual.
Send comments by July 21. Tell the Forest Service no logging in
roadless areas, no salvage logging, no logging period on the
Ms. Janette Kaiser, Forest Supervisor
Manti-La Sal National Forest
599 West Price River Drive
Price, UT 84501
Kierán Suckling firstname.lastname@example.org
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