Subject: FW: BIODIVERSITY ALERT #197

*************  CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY *************
                  http://www.sw-center.org
                     ALERT #197 8-5-99

ENDANGERED SPECIES ACTION ALERT: SECRETARY BABBITT
  TRYING TO SUBVERT ESA

APPEAL VICTORY: CORDUROY GRAZING ALLOTMENT, GILA
  NATIONAL FOREST

CATTLE PRIORITIZED OVER ONLY MEXICAN WOLF PACK
  WITH WILD BORN PUPS

HELP RAISE FUNDS TO CONTINUE PROTECTION OF
  WILDLIFE AND WILD PLACES

TEAR DOWN THE FOSSIL CREEK DAM


ENDANGERED SPECIES ACTION ALERT: SECRETARY BABBITT
TRYING TO SUBVERT ESA--CALL TODAY!

Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt has asked
Senator Slade Gorton (R-WA) to offer a rider to
the Interior Appropriations bill to cut funding
for designating critical habitat for endangered
species to a paltry $1 million. Secretary Babbitt
has asked Congress to cut the budget, so he can
use that as an excuse for not properly
implementing the Endangered Species Act.

Please Help!

Call George Frampton, director of the White
House's Council of Environmental Quality to
express your outrage (202-456-6224). Secretary
Babbitt should be an advocate, not an enemy, of
endangered species protection. Tell them to stop
undermining the ESA!! The President should
strongly oppose the Gorton rider to cut ESA
funding.

Call your Senators (202-224-3121) and tell them to
oppose the Gorton rider to cut ESA funding. The
Senate will possibly vote on the Interior
Appropriations bill this week. That's when Gorton
will likely introduce this amendment.
______________________

APPEAL VICTORY: CORDUROY GRAZING ALLOTMENT, GILA
NATIONAL FOREST

In response to an appeal by the Center, the Gila
National Forest was ordered to withdraw a decision
that authorized grazing on the Corduroy Allotment
due to violations of the Forest Management Plan.
The decision purported to provide protection and
improvement of upland range and riparian
conditions required by the FMP. The Center pointed
out that although the utilization levels were
within the required range they would not lead to
any improvements, rather to a continued
degradation of the upland and riparian habitat.

According to the appeal decision the Gila NF must
conduct another analysis which will clearly
identify use levels which will "improve range and
riparian conditions." But as recently pointed out
in a report by range ecologist Dr. Joy Belsky "an
extensive search did not locate peer-reviewed,
empirical papers reporting a positive impact of
cattle on riparian areas when those areas were
compared to ungrazed controls..."

The implication made here is that no level of
grazing provides a ecological benefit. Rather,
while certain use levels, or rotational schemes,
may reduce abuse, they can not provide a positive
ecological effect. Although the Gila NF will be
looking to find the appropriate level of abuse as
outlined in their FMP, unless cattle are removed
there will be no ecological benefit.
_____________________

CATTLE PRIORITIZED OVER ONLY MEXICAN WOLF PACK
WITH WILD BORN PUPS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has captured a
male wolf and yearling from the Pipestem Pack of
Mexican gray wolves, and is trying to capture the
female and pups, because the pack may have killed
two cows on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.

The unknown number of pups have not previously had
contact with humans, and are the only wild born
Mexican wolf pups known. A pup born after last
year's wolf release disappeared after its parents
were killed.

The reintroduction plan for the Mexican wolf
allows Fish and Wildlife to relocate released
wolves to any other part of the recovery area 
potentially including the wolves' best habitat in
the Gila National Forest. But Department of
Interior officials in Washington are blocking re-
releasing the Pipestem Pack to the Gila because of
opposition from New Mexico ranchers. As a result,
the wolves will be kept in cages indefinitely.

Please call Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt today
and demand that the incarcerated members of the
Pipestem Pack of Mexican wolves be released back
to their homes, that capture attempts cease for
those pack members still free, and that approval
be granted to release wolves directly in the Gila
National Forest.

Bruce Babbitt, Secretary of the Interior (202)
208-7351.
______________________

HELP RAISE FUNDS TO CONTINUE PROTECTION OF
WILDLIFE AND WILD PLACES

If you're a customer of Working Assets Long
Distance Company you can help raise funds for
conservation. Each year Working Assets gives away
several million dollars to various groups working
for environmental and social justice. It's not too
late to nominate the Center for Biological
Diversity to receive funding in the year 2000 from
Working Assets.

To nominate the Center mail your nomination by
August 31, 1999. Send a letter explaining why the
Center for Biological Diversity deserves funding,
also include information regarding our work as it
relates nationally and internationally. For
example, our work to protect the ESA and species
all across North America, including Mexico.

Working Assets
Donations Manager
101 Market Street, Suite 700
San Francisco, CA 94105
or
email: wald@wafs.com
______________________

TEAR DOWN THE FOSSIL CREEK DAM

The following Editorial by the Arizona Daily Star
supports the dismantling of the Childs-Irving
Hydroelectric Project on Fossil Creek near
Strawberry, AZ. The Center has asked Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission to decommission the
dam and restore the flows to Fossil Creek.

Pulling the plug

THE ARIZONA DAILY STAR

In Maine, a dam is coming down. That this is
happening holds out hope that other dams -
including at least one in Arizona - will soon be
pulled out of America's much-abused rivers.

The Maine victory shows why so many dams need to
go.

Twenty-four feet high, 917 feet wide, Edwards Dam
on Maine's Kennebec River never made any sense as
an economic and ecological accounting.

On the one ledger, it generated just one-tenth of
1 percent of Maine's annual energy usage. On the
other, the aging hydroelectric facility did
serious damage to nine species of Atlantic fish by
blocking them from their traditional spawning
grounds, all while depriving Mainers of a scenic
water course for recreation. A reassuring
rationality therefore shapes this month's
dismantling.

Yet what is even more encouraging about the
deconstruction are its politics - and what they
bode for other dams, specifically the one in
northern Arizona.

The Edwards case, after all, sets a precedent: It
represents the first time the federal government
has ordered a dam dismantled over a private
owner's objection. At last, apparently, the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission - which
regulates about 2,300 non-federal hydroelectric
dams - is ready to begin balancing ecological
values with energy yields when reviewing a dam's
license.

And so the freeing of the Kennebec this month
raises hopes for similar action on Arizona Public
Service Co.'s archaic Childs-Irving Hydroelectric
Project on Fossil Creek near Strawberry, which
could become the nation's second private dam to be
forced from service.

Now up for reauthorization, Childs-Irving's
marginal power plant in no way justifies the
environmental harm of the old-time flume system's
diversion of 95 percent of Fossil Creek's cool
spring water out of the streambed.

The regulators should therefore yank the dam's
license and order the water returned to the creek
to maintain its flow. Then a rare travertine
stream, its mineral-lined pools and its riverside
ecosystems could be restored.

At any rate, Arizonans should revel in the
deconstruction of Edwards Dam, and hope it
portends similar progress here.

Perhaps it won't take Ed Abbey's ``monkey-wrench
gang'' of eco-terrorists to remove the nation's
worst small dams.
___________________________________________________________
Shane Jimerfield
Assistant Director
Center for Biological Diversity
Tel: 520.623.5252, ext 302              Fax: 520.623.9797
PO Box 710, Tucson AZ 85702-0710              http://www.sw-center.org