From: Kieran Suckling [email@example.com]
Tuesday, February 01, 2000 6:24 PM
To: Recipient list
Subject: BIODIVERSITY ALERT #223
CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
§ SUIT CHALLENGES LOW-LEVEL MILITARY FLIGHTS NATION-WIDE
§ BLACKBURN'S SPHINX MOTH LISTED AS ENDANGERED
§ HEALTH, ENVIRONMENT GROUPS ISSUE "STATE OF ARIZONA'S
§ VOTERS, RELIGIOUS GROUPS SUPPORT AN END TO THE
INDUSTRIALIZATION OF PUBLIC LANDS
§ INVITATION TO SALT RIVER DOCUMENTARY, 2-10-00
SUIT CHALLENGES LOW-LEVEL MILITARY FLIGHTS NATION-WIDE
On 1-27-00, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Rural Alliance for
Military Accountability and a coalition of groups from around the
filed suit challenging the entire national low-level flight training
of the United States Air Force. Citing internal Air Force documents,
suit demonstrates that the agency began to prepare a nation-wide
environmental impact statement on the effects of low-level flights on
humans and wildlife, but abandoned the effort because its data "reflected
badly on the Air Force" and would put the agency at political and legal
risk. The lawsuit seeks to force the Air Force to complete the EIS,
to halt low-level flights until it is complete.
Many of the Air Force’s low-level flights are conducted over National
Wilderness Areas, National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, and other
sensitive public lands that are set aside for wildlife and recreation.
Intrusion of roaring, low flying military aircraft on these special public
lands undermines their ability to serve the functions for which they were
created. Other flights take place over populated areas where sonic
booms and flight noise destroy private property and cause physical
psychological health problems.
Close to one million square miles -- 25% of the United States -- is
subject low-level military flights. This is greater than the total area of
western Europe, including all of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal,
Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Great
Britain, and Ireland. Indeed, the German Air Force conducts low-level
training flights in New Mexico because it was outlawed due to adverse
health effects in Germany.
The suit is being argued by Simeon Herskovits, Lynn Sferrazza and Matt
Bishop of the Western Environmental Law Center (Taos).
BLACKBURN'S SPHINX MOTH LISTED AS ENDANGERED
As a result of an 8-31-99 lawsuit and settlement by the Center for
Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service listed
sphinx moth (Manduca blackburni) as an endangered species on
2-1-00. The same lawsuit and notice earlier resulted in
species protection for the Kaua`i cave wolf spider, Kaua`i cave
amphipod, Newcomb's snail, two species of Akoko (Chamaesyce
rockii and Chamaesyce herbstii), the Haha (Cyanea acuminata),
Euphorbia haeleeleana and Lobelia gaudichaudii (ssp. Koolaunsis).
With a wingspan of 5 inches, Blackburn's sphinx moth is the largest
of Hawaii's 10,000 native insects. It was considered extinct until
rediscovered on Maui in 1984. It formerly occurred on the Hawaiian
islands of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui, Kahoolawe and Hawaii. It now
survives in just a few populations on Maui, Kahoolawe and Hawaii.
It is threatened by urban sprawl, agricultural expansion, and
introduction of exotic species. Its number are currently so low that
it could be driven extinct by extreme weather fluctuations.
The Center was represented by Kapua Sproat and David Henkin of the
Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund (Honolulu).
HEALTH, ENVIRONMENT GROUPS ISSUE "STATE OF ARIZONA'S
On 1-12-00, eight environment and public health groups released a
"State of the Environment Report" outlining environmental concerns
and challenges for the coming year in Arizona. Recommendations
include protecting imperiled species, improving air quality, managing
growth, preserving state trust lands, protecting riparian areas, supporting
protection of public lands as national monuments, and upholding trust
responsibilities for Arizona's streambeds.
The full report can be viewed at:
Authors of the report included the Sierra Club, Center for Biological
Diversity, American Lung Association of Arizona, Arizona Audubon
Council, Arizona Heritage Alliance, Arizona Public Health Association,
Citizens for Growth Management, and Grand Canyon Trust.
VOTERS, RELIGIOUS GROUPS SUPPORT AN END TO THE
INDUSTRIALIZATION OF PUBLIC LANDS
American Viewpoint, one of the country's top GOP polling firms,
conducted a survey of 1,000 registered voters in December, 1999 and
January, 2000. It found that voters oppose logging, mining, and other
industrial activities on National Forests by a 2-to-1 margin (60% vs.
31%). The poll was commissioned by the Heritage Forests
Campaign. For more details, see the Heritage Forest website:
On 11-25-99, the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina
endorsed a resolution to "encourage, support, and advocate the
end of all commercial logging on U.S. National Forests."
INVITATION TO SALT RIVER DOCUMENTARY, 2-10-00
The local documentary, "Quartzite's Fall: A Wilderness Tale" will
premiere at the Arizona Historical Society Museum on Thursday,
2-10-00. This short film tells the story of the bizarre destruction of
Quartzite Falls, the most dangerous whitewater rapid in Arizona's
Upper Salt River Wilderness. In this film a dramatic series of events
reveal a wild river's value to the human spirit.
The Nitpickers, a local jazzy bluegrass band, will play in the
courtyard following the show. Tickets are $5 and will benefit the
Arizona Historical Society Museum.
1300 N College in Papago Park
(at 68th Street and Curry).
Screenings at 7:30 and 8:45 pm.
The number to make
reservations is 480-929-9499.
Center for Biological Diversity
pob 710, tucson, az 85702-0710