From: Kieran Suckling [ksuckling@sw-center.org]
Sent: Saturday, January 08, 2000 1:55 AM
To: Recipient list suppressed
Subject: BIODIVERSITY ALERT #220
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             CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

           <www.sw-center.org>      1-7-00      #220
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§ OLD GROWTH TIMBER SALE APPEALED TO SAVE GOSHAWKS,
   SQUIRRELS, OLD GROWTH FORESTS

§ NEW MEXICO BUTTERFLY EDGING TOWARD FEDERAL PROTECTION

§ JUDGE ORDERS PROTECTION FOR TEN CALIFORNIA PLANTS

§ ARTICLE EXPOSES INTERVENTION BY BRUCE BABBITT AND
   WILLIAM COHEN TO PREVENT PROTECTION OF NEARLY EXTINCT
   ATLANTIC SALMON

OLD GROWTH TIMBER SALE APPEALED TO SAVE GOSHAWKS,
SQUIRRELS, OLD GROWTH FORESTS
On 12-21-99, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club, and the
Southwest Forest Alliance appealed the Dry Park timber sale on the Kaibab
National Forest for the second time. In response to first appeal, the timber
sale was withdrawn for failing to consider the impact of old growth logging on
elk, turkey, deer, pygmy nuthatches and the endemic Kaibab squirrel. The
forest also violated its own Northern goshawk protection guidelines by failing
to designate and protect nest areas from logging. The Forest has re-issued
the sale, once again proposing to log over 6,000 old growth ponderosa
pine trees from the Kaibab Plateau. Though the plateau is one the few
areas left in North America with significant expanses of old growth ponderosa,
the Kaibab National Forest is dead set on trashing the forest to feed the
timber industry.

The entire Kaibab Plateau, including the Kaibab National Forest, was
designated the "Grand Canyon Game Preserve" by Theodore Roosevelt in
1907. Though Roosevelt declared that the forest should be "protected in
perpetuity" and "not sacrificed to the short sighted greed of the few," the
Forest Service maintains the preserve is a meaningless designation which
does not limit logging in any manner. The Forest Service also ignored the
fact that 200,000 acres of the plateau, including part of the Dry Park Timber
Sale, lie within the Department of Interior's Kaibab Squirrel National Natural
Landmark.

The Center, the Sierra Club, and the Southwest Forest Alliance have
launched a campaign to designate the entire Kaibab Plateau a Northern
goshawk/Old growth preserve and research area.
     ____________________

NEW MEXICO BUTTERFLY EDGING TOWARD FEDERAL PROTECTION
On 12-29-99, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service issued a preliminary finding
that the Sacramento Mountains checkerspot butterfly may warrant protection
as an endangered species. The finding was the first three that the agency
must make on a petition to list the rare butterfly by the Center for Biological
Diversity.

The Sacramento Mountains checkerspot is found only in high mountain
meadows and is closely associated with its larval foodplant, the New
Mexico penstemon. It is threatened by a proposal to give away a section of
the Lincoln National Forest to Village of Cloudcroft, and by road construction,
overgrazing, and sprawl. In response to the filing of the petition, the Forest
Service decided to exclude three critical parcels of butterfly habitat from the
giveaway, but still plans turn over five parcels of land, three of which support
butterflies.
     ______________________

JUDGE ORDERS PROTECTION FOR TEN CALIFORNIA PLANTS
In response to a suit by the Center for Biological Diversity and the California
Native Plant Society, a federal judge has ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service to stop stalling on a decision whether to list ten rare California
plants as federally endangered species. All of the plants were proposed for
listing by the agency, but have since hit a bureaucratic road block. Some
have been in line for protection since 1975 when the Smithsonian Institute
completed a Congressionally ordered endangered plant survey and
recommended the species for federal protection.

Included in the suit were Baker’s larkspur, Yellow larkspur, Keck’s
checker-mallow, Kneeland prairie penny-cress, two species of Purple
amole, La Graciosa thistle, Lompoc yerba santa, Gaviota tarplant, and
the Santa Cruz tarplant. Judge Breyer gave the agency until 3-15-2000
to make final listing decisions.  

The Center and CNPS were represented by Brendan Cummings (Berkeley)
and Jay Tutchton of Earthlaw (Denver).
     _____________

ARTICLE EXPOSES INTERVENTION BY BRUCE BABBITT AND
WILLIAM COHEN TO PREVENT PROTECTION OF NEARLY EXTINCT
ATLANTIC SALMON
Salon, a popular on-line magazine, has published an investigative
story by Susan Zakin exposing corruption in the National Marine
Fisheries Service, and at the highest levels of the Department of Interior.
According to memos uncovered by Zakin, a 1995 attempt by
Service biologists to list the Atlantic salmon as federally endangered
was derailed by Maine's Senator William Cohen (now Defense Secretary)
and Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt.

Within days of a letter from Cohen to Babbitt threatening to attack the
ESA itself if the listing occurred, Babbitt ordered the Fish & Wildlife
Service to reverse its decision to list the species, even though dams,
logging, and commercial fisheries have reduced it from over a million fish
to just 75 wild individuals. The National Marine Fisheries has since been
sued by Defenders of Wildlife, Trout Unlimited and the Atlantic Salmon
Federation.

Though Zakin's uncovering of smoking gun memos is unusual, Babbitt's
undermining of the ESA listing process is not. Under Clinton, the
process of deciding whether species should be listed as endangered,
and whether their habitat should be protected once listing occurs has
been so systematically undermined, that court orders against the
federal government have become a standard part of the listing process.
The Clinton Administration has lost more ESA lawsuits than any other
administration in history. The Center has filed 133 suits against the federal
government in the last six years to protect endangered species, winning
84% of the cases.

The full story can be read at:
<http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2000/01/05/salmon/index.html>
_____________________________________________________________

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