From: Kieran Suckling [ksuckling@sw-center.org]
Sent: Thursday, November 11, 1999 9:50 PM
To: Recipient list suppressed
Subject: BIODIVERSITY ALERT #212
<<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><>><<>
             CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

           <www.sw-center.org>      11-11-99      #212
<<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><>><<>

§ RELIGIOUS/ENVIRONMENTAL ALLIANCE WINS PROTECTION FOR
   IMPERILED SPECIES HABITAT FROM CALIFORNIA TO ALASKA

§ COURT ORDERS ESA LISTING DECISION FOR CALIFORNIA PLANT

§ WOLVES IN NM? OUTDOORS WRITER JOINS THE PACK

§ TRANSFER OF COLORADO RIVER WATER RIGHTS QUESTIONED


RELIGIOUS/ENVIRONMENTAL ALLIANCE WINS PROTECTION FOR
IMPERILED SPECIES HABITAT IN CALIFORNIA AND ALASKA
In response to a lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity and
Christians Caring For Creation, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has
agreed to address critical habitat for seven endangered species in
California and Alaska. Though all seven are listed under the ESA,
none have been afforded officially mapped and protected "critical
habitat" areas.

The terms of the 11-3-99 settlement require the Fish & Wildlife Service
to withdraw its decisions not to designate critical habitat for the seven
species and to make new proposed and final critical habitat
determinations with specified time periods:

   SPECIES                        HABITAT PROPOSAL   HABITAT FINAL
   Spectacled eider                             2/1/2000         12/1/200
   Stellar’s eider                                  3/1/2000        1/5/2001
   Alameda whipsnake                         3/1/2000        9/1/2000
   Arroyo southwestern toad                 6/1/2000        1/5/2001
   Zayante band-winged grasshopper     7/1/2000        2/1/2001
   Morro shoulderband snail                  7/1/2000        2/1/2000
   San Bernadino kangaroo rat             12/1/2000      12/1/2000

Christians Caring for Creation (Pasadena, CA) is dedicated to the
protection of all God’s creation. It has a prayer network of over a 1000
people across the United States who pray for the protection of the
environment and all species. The plaintiffs were represented by Geoff
Hickcox of Kenna and Hickcox (Durango) and Brendan Cummings
(Berkeley).
     _______________

COURT ORDERS ESA LISTING DECISION FOR CALIFORNIA PLANT
On 10-28-99, a San Diego federal judge ruled that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife
has violated the Endangered Species Act in refusing to decide whether to
propose the San Diego ambrosia as an endangered species. He gave the
agency an unusually short deadline to issue a decision- two months-
perhaps because this is the second time it has been taken to court for
delaying action on the imperiled plant.

The Center for Biological Diversity and the Native Plant Society petitioned
the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to list the San Diego ambrosia under the
ESA in 1996. When the agency refused to process the petition, we sued,
garnering an initial positive rule in April, 1999. When the agency then
refused to issue a proposed rule, we were forced to sued again.

The San Diego ambrosia was once found in stream-side grasslands and
sage scrub in San Diego and Riverside counties, and northern Baja
California. Urban and agricultural development have obliterated most of its
habitat leaving only eleven viable populations. A decision by Fish &
Wildlife Service to propose the ambrosia for listing will cast serious doubt
on alleged protects afforded by the San Diego Multiple Species
Conservation Program.

The case was argued by Craig Sherman (San Diego).
     _____________________

WOLVES IN NM? OUTDOORS WRITER JOINS THE PACK
In his 11-4-99 outdoor column in the Santa Fe New Mexican, Wes
Smalling urged the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to introduce the
endangered Mexican gray wolf directly into the Gila Wilderness in
southern New Mexico's Gila National Forest. Noting that a female
wolf was recently found dead near a road on the Arizona side of the
wolf recovery zone- the same road which earlier took the life of
another female- he stated:

   "The recovery plan allows wolves already in the wild in Arizona to
   be moved to New Mexico, but does not allow them to be released
   into New Mexico directly from captivity. The Southwest Center for
   Biological Diversity has lobbied the Service to move the project to
   the Gila for some time now. For what it's worth, I support the move,
   too."

The Gila/Aldo Leopold wilderness complex is the largest forested
roadless area in the Southwest. Its deep canyons, lush forests and
abundant streams contain plenty of prey, while its extreme
remoteness will keep the lobo away from cars and guns. The Center
is also pushing for Grizzly bear and Jaguar reintroduction to the Gila
Headwaters Bioregion.
     _____________

TRANSFER OF COLORADO RIVER WATER RIGHTS QUESTIONED
The Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife have formally
asked the Bureau of Reclamation to fully disclosure the environmental
effects of a proposed transfer of Colorado River water rights from Imperial
Valley farms to the highly urbanized coastal San Diego County. We
have also asked to Bureau to comply with all analyses and protections
required by the Endangered Species Act.

The transfer, in which Colorado water will be diverted at Lake Havasu
instead of further downstream at Imperial Dam, would greatly reduce
available water for restoration of Colorado River forests in the U.S. and
Delta wetlands in Mexico. The transfer will also spawn more urban
sprawl, with enough additional water delivered to San Diego to build a
new city the size of Las Vegas. Reclamation claims the pre-existing
San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program serves to meets
its ESA requirements to protect and recover imperiled species, but
the program covers only a small portion of the coastal area that will
suffer from additional sprawl.
_____________________________________________________________

Kierán Suckling                     ksuckling@sw-center.org
Executive Director                  520.623.5252 phone
Center for Biological Diversity     520.623.9797 fax
<http://www.sw-center.org>          pob 710, tucson, az 85702-0710