Subject: FW: BIODIVERSITY ALERT #202

************* CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY *************
                 http://www.sw-center.org
                    ALERT #202 9-9-99

TWO MORE MEXICAN GRAY WOLF PUPS FOUND DEAD

NOTICE TO SUE ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE SAN PEDRO RIVER

INTERNATIONAL COALITION ACTS TO SAVE THE SAN PEDRO RIVER

ESA'S CRITICAL HABITAT UNDER FIRE FROM ARIZONA GAME AND
FISH DEPARTMENT
_____________________

TWO MORE MEXICAN GRAY WOLF PUPS FOUND DEAD

Two captive Mexican wolf pups were found dead at the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service's wolf holding facility on the
Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge on the morning of
September 7. The pups showed no external evidence of injury
or other cause of death.

On August 30, two wild-born pups from the captured Pipestem
pack were found dead at the Sevilleta facility and are
believed to have died from canine parvovirus (CPV), an
infectious disease that affects both domestic and wild
canines and is often fatal in young animals.

A total of five Mexican wolf pups have died since August 24;
the three other pups were members of the Pipestem pack,
which is being removed from the wild because of livestock
depredations.
_____________________

NOTICE TO SUE ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE SAN PEDRO RIVER

The Center for Biological Diversity issued a Notice of
Intent to Sue the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the US
Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the State of Arizona,
Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR), the Cochise
County Board of Supervisors, and the cities of Sierra Vista,
Huachuca City, and Benson for violations of the Endangered
Species Act.  These violations involve failure to control
the groundwater pumping that is destroying the San Pedro
River and with it the endangered Huachuca Water Umbel and
the endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher and their
critical San Pedro River habitat.

The San Pedro River, which begins in Mexico and flows north
through southern Arizona, is acknowledged to be one of the
last great surviving ecosystems on Earth. Groundwater
pumping in the area intercepts water that ordinarily
provides the River's base flows. Low flows in the San Pedro
River have decreased 67% in the last fifty years.

The State of Arizona and ADWR directly control groundwater
pumping. The State of Arizona, the Cochise County Board of
Supervisors, and the cities of Sierra Vista, Huachuca City,
and Benson control increasing local groundwater dependent
development. To date, these entities have refused to remedy
the excessive groundwater pumping that is destroying the San
Pedro River. Nor has FWS produced the Recovery Plans
required for the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher and the
Huachuca Water Umbel. Despite great fanfare, local, State
and Federal efforts have produced no significant curtailment
of groundwater pumping.
_____________________

INTERNATIONAL COALITION ACTS TO SAVE THE SAN PEDRO RIVER

A diverse group of organizations from Mexico and the U.S.
are joining forces to save the San Pedro River, the last
free-flowing, undammed river in the Southwestern U.S. The
river is one of the last relatively intact ecosystems on
earth. It supports the second highest number of mammal
species in the world, second only to the montane forests of
Costa Rica, as well as millions of fish, reptiles and
neotropical birds.

But the river is dying. Excessive groundwater pumping has
resulted in a 67 percent decrease in the river's flow in the
last 50 years.  There are already sections of the river that
are completely dry in the summer.

The San Pedro Alliance is an international coalition of
organizations seeking permanent protection for the River.
The Alliance currently represents nearly 1 million people.
The San Pedro Alliance is pursuing an eight-step plan for
saving the river. The plan includes retirement of
surrounding agricultural lands, reduction of grazing and
mining in the basin, limits on groundwater-dependent growth
and a long-overdue revision of antiquated water law.

Please urge your organization to join the San Pedro
Alliance. The more organizations the Alliance represents,
and the more diverse types of organizations it includes, the
more likely we are to be heard by the individuals and
agencies who have the power to reverse the situations which
are causing the river to go dry.

To join the San Pedro Alliance all you have to do is say
"yes". We will add to you to the growing group of
organizations that support the mission of the San Pedro
Alliance and keep you updated about our progress.  To join,
or if you'd like more information or a copy of the eight-
step plan to save the river, please contact Lisa Force at
lforce@sw-center.org or at 602-246-6498.
_____________________

ESA'S CRITICAL HABITAT UNDER FIRE FROM ARIZONA GAME AND FISH
DEPARTMENT

On Friday, September 10 1999 the AZ Game and Fish Department
will introduce a resolution to
it's Commissioner's Meeting "to ensure that critical habitat
designation does not adversely
impact multiple use of public and private lands, without
benefits to the species."

It is a dangerous precedent for our AZ wildlife agency to
place 'multiple uses' before the
needs of wildlife. Furthermore, the resolution claims that
critical habitat designation often has no benefit for the
species targeted, though it provides no evidence to support
this. In fact, critical habitat designation is one of the
most important functions of the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
and has helped protect such species as the Southwestern
willow flycatcher and the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl.

The resolution will also ask Congress to increase funding to
the Department's Nongame Endangered Species Program. Money
for recovery of endangered species should indeed be
increased, along with money for prevention of endangerment
by broad habitat conservation. However, the language of this
resolution is so hostile to both the intent and the means of
the ESA, it threatens to fund AZ GFD to become an enemy of
Arizona's endangered wildlife.

This item will be first on the agenda after a closed
executive session, and will be discussed from about 9 am to
9:30 am on Friday morning. If you can attend, fill out a
blue sheet before 9 am so you may testify. If you are not
able to attend, fax, email, or call the Commissioners on
Thursday. Let them know that, although increased funding for
recovery and preservation is a good idea, asking for money
while calling for virtual dismantling of the ESA is not acceptable.

Later on Friday afternoon, the meeting will consider
restricting or banning hunting contests. A full meeting
schedule is available on the web at
http://www.gf.state.az.us (click on "Director's Office" and
then "Commission Meeting Agenda for August 6-7, 1999").

Meeting location: Little America Hotel, 2515 Butler Avenue,
Flagstaff AZ.
AZ Game and Fish Commisioners:
phone: 602-942-3000

___________________________________________________________
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