From: Kieran Suckling [ksuckling@sw-center.org]
Sent: Sunday, January 02, 2000 10:17 PM
To: Recipient list suppressed
Subject: BIODIVERSITY ALERT #219
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             CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

           <www.sw-center.org>      1-3-00      #219
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STARTING THE NEW YEAR OFF RIGHT FOR IMPERILED SPECIES!

§ JUDGE ORDERS HABITAT PROTECTION FOR RED-LEGGED FROG

§ SUIT SPURS LISTING OF WASHINGTON PLANT AS ENDANGERED

§ RARE CALIFORNIA PLANT PROPOSED AS ENDANGERED SPECIES

§ SUIT TO SEEK PROTECTION FOR COLORADO BUTTERFLY PLANT

§ LETTERS NEEDED TO SAVE SANTA ANA SUCKER


JUDGE ORDERS HABITAT PROTECTION FOR RED-LEGGED FROG
On 12-20-99, a federal judge order the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
to designate and protect critical habitat for the endangered California
red-legged frog. The order was in response to a suit brought by the
Jumping Frog Research Institute, the Center for Biological Diversity,
Pacific Rivers Council, the Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation, and
Responsible Consumers of the Monterey Peninsula.

The California red-legged frog is the largest native frog in the western
United States. Mark Twain secured its literary reputation in his short
story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County". Overgrazing,
urban sprawl, road building, off-road vehicles, water diversions, dam
construction, agribusiness, mining, logging and exotic species have all
had a hand the frog's decline. Though it was once common throughout
much of California, it now can only be found only in isolated pockets
along the central coast, with a few scattered sites in the Sierra Nevada.

The plaintiff were represented by the Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund.
     ___________________

SUIT SPURS LISTING OF WASHINGTON PLANT AS  ENDANGERED
In response to a 9-20-99 suit by the Center, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife
Service listed the Wenatchee checker-mallow as an endangered species
on 12-22-99. The agency determined in 1980 that the rare plant was likely
endangered, but took no action for nearly two decades as it continued to
decline toward extinction.

The Wenatchee checker-mallow (Sidalcea oregana var. calva) is endemic
to wet meadows at middle elevations in the Wenatchee Mountains of
Chelan County, WA. Urban sprawl, agribusiness, off-road vehicles, road
construction, and exotic species have all taken their toll on the mallow,
shrinking its range down to just five sites.

The Center was represented by Geoff Hickcox of Kenna & Hickcox
(Durango) and Marianne Dugan of Facaros, Dugan & Ross (Eugene).
     ___________

RARE CALIFORNIA PLANT PROPOSED AS ENDANGERED SPECIES
On 12-29-99 the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service proposed to list the San
Diego ambrosia as an endangered species. The Center for Biological
Diversity and the California Native Plant Society filed a formal petition to
list the ambrosia in 1996 after determining that urban sprawl was driving
it to extinction. As usual, however, the federal agency bowed to political
pressure, refusing to protect the dwindling plant. It took two separate
lawsuits to win the listing proposal. The agency now has one year to issue
a final rule.

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. The Fish & Wildlife Service's
decision to propose the ambrosia for listing casts serious doubt on
alleged protections afforded by the San Diego Multiple Species
Conservation Program.

The Center was represented by Craig Sherman (San Diego).
     _________

SUIT TO SEEK PROTECTION FOR COLORADO BUTTERFLY PLANT
On 12-24-99, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Biodiversity Legal
Foundation formally notified the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service that they will
file suit to make the agency list and protect the Colorado butterfly plant
as an endangered species. The Smithsonian Institute researched and filed
a petitioned to list the plant as endangered in 1975, but the politically
hamstrung Fish & Wildlife Service has refused to act on the petition for
twenty five years, even as the plant continues to dwindle toward extinction.

The Colorado butterfly plant is a perennial herb endemic to wet meadows
in floodplain areas in southeastern Wyoming, northcentral Colorado, and
extreme western Nebraska. Water diversions, channelization, urban
sprawl and the conversion of dynamic riparian areas to agriculture are the
Colorado butterfly plant's major threats.

The case will be argued by Jay Tutchton of Earthlaw (Denver).
     ____________________

LETTERS NEEDED TO SAVE SANTA ANA SUCKER FROM EXTINCTION
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has re-opened a public comment period
on its proposal to list the Santa Ana sucker as a threatened species.Your
comments are needed by January 3, 2000 to ensure this imperiled fish
and the rivers of southern California are protected and restored.

Formerly abundant in the Los Angeles, San Gabriel and Santa Ana rivers
of the Los Angeles basin, the Santa Ana sucker has been reduced to just
three small remnant populations as a result of urbanization and reservoir
management. More threats loom as a result of planned sluice
flows from reservoirs and recreational gold dredging on the San Gabriel
River, and the massive Seven Oaks Dam on the Santa Ana River.

Write the Service today. Ask for an "Endangered" rather than a
"Threatened" listing, and insist that Critical Habitat be designated
concurrent with listing on all river and stream reaches currently occupied
by the species as well as additional areas necessary to provide for the
sucker’s recovery.

   Field Supervisor
   U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
   2730 Loker Avenue West, Carlsbad CA 92008
   Fax: (760) 4319624
_____________________________________________________________

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