CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
<www.sw-center.org> 5-25-00 #238
§ NEW MEXICO TIMBER SALE APPEALED- GILA NATIONAL
FOREST CLAIMS DEAD TREES ARE NOT REALLY TREES
§ KIDS' "NAME A WOLF PUP CONTEST" WINNERS ANNOUNCED
§ KIDS' "SPIRIT OF THE WOLF QUILT" TOURS LIBRARIES AND SCHOOLS
§ COURT ASKED TO HALT LOGGING TO SAVE IMPERILED SALMON
§ 126 GAS AND OIL LEASES WITHDRAWN TO PROTECT IMPERILED
ALASKAN BELUGA WHALE
§ BLM REFUSES TO CONSIDER CRITICAL DESERT HABITAT FOR
"WILDERNESS" PROTECTION- SEND AN EMAIL MESSAGE TODAY!
NEW MEXICO TIMBER SALE APPEALED- GILA NATIONAL FOREST
CLAIMS DEAD TREES ARE NOT REALLY TREES
On 5-11-00, the Center for Biological Diversity, Forest Conservation Council,
and the National Forest Protection Alliance appealed the Corner Mountain
salvage timber sale on the Gila National Forest. Though clearcutting is very
unusual in the Southwest today, the sale would clearcut 340 acres of
ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir, including 7,000 trees over 16 inches in
The Corner Mountain salvage sale has cast a dark shadow over the Gila's
otherwise progressive burn program because it seeks to log an area that
burned two years ago when the Forest Service lost control of a prescribed
natural fire. Among other illegalities, the Gila is ignoring its own
by failing to retain at least 2-3 snags per acre and is violating the Mexican
spotted owl recovery plan by logging 2,500 trees over 24 inches in diameter.
In an unusual defense of the project, Gila forester Scott Hill has told local
newspapers that the logging is permitted because the Forest Service is not
a "preservation service." Even more telling, he claims that the 2.5 million
board feet of timber which will be logged on Corner Mountain "are not trees."
Having missed the last 50 years of ecological research, the Gila National
Forest believes that once dead, a tree is no longer a tree.
"NAME A WOLF PUP CONTEST" WINNERS ANNOUNCED
Three children were chosen as winners of the Name-A-Wolf Pup Contest
sponsored by the Center for Biological Diversity. Over 900 students from
schools throughout the Southwest sent in entries to help welcome the
Southwest's newest wild born wolf pups into the world. Participants were
asked draw a Mexican gray wolf in its forest habitat, submit a wolf pup name,
and explain why they thought it was important to have wolves in the wild. The
winning entries can be seen at:
The three winners and their families will be treated to an all expense paid
weekend in Wolf Country at the Wilderness Lodge and Hot Springs located
in Gila Hot Springs, NM. The winners are:
K-2 Grade Winner: Caleb Spegman. Pup Name "Keesa"
Suzanne McCullough's Kindergarten Class at St. Francis Pre-School and
Kindergarten, Tucson, AZ.
3-5 Grade Winner: Tanner Houtz. Pup name: "Rocky"
Mr. Matchett's 5th Grade Class, Lulu Walker Elem. School, Tucson, AZ
6-8 Grade Winner: Marcela VillaReal Amador. Pup Name "Lirpa"
Aaron Parker's 8th Grade Class at Our Lady of the Lourdes Catholic Middle
2nd, 3rd and 4th place runners up were selected from each of the three age
categories. All 12 finalists' artwork and the Spirit of the Wolf Quilt (also
created by children) will be on display at the Temple of Art Gallery at the
Tucson Children's Museum September through October.
The alpha females of the Mule Pack and the Pipestem Pack are currently
tending to their new born pups in their dens, we hope to see them soon.
"SPIRIT OF THE WOLF QUILT" TOURS LIBRARIES AND SCHOOLS
The "Spirit of the Wolf Quilt", created by children in 1999 with the help of
the Center for Biological Diversity and Wildlife Damage Review, is
schools and public libraries throughout southern Arizona. The quilt celebrates
the return of the Mexican gray wolf to the wilds of Arizona and New Mexico.
The images remind us that wolves are an important part of a healthy natural
world as seen through the eyes of our younger generation. The quilt has
provided wonderful inspiration for stories, songs, and art.
See the Spirit of the Wolf Quilt online at
or at any of the following locations:
June 2000....Valencia Public Library, 202 W Valencia Rd, Tucson
July 2000....Woods Memorial Public Library, 3455 N First Ave, Tucson
August 2000....Wilmot Public Library, 530 N Wilmot Rd, Tucson
September 2000....Tucson Children's Museum, Tucson
The Tucson Children's Museum showing will also children's artwork created
for the successful "Name a Wolf Pup Contest". For more information on
bringing the wolf quilt to your community's school, library, or neighborhood
center, contact the Center at: 520.623.5252 x.303.
COURT ASKED TO HALT LOGGING TO SAVE IMPERILED SALMON
On 5-19-00, the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) and
nearly twenty conservation, fisheries and Native American organizations,
including the Center for Biological Diversity, filed a motion in federal court
seeking to enjoin logging operations that illegally "take" (kill or harm) coho
salmon. Coho are protected species under the U.S. Endangered Species
Act. The request for a preliminary injunction marks the first substantive
action in a lawsuit filed 3-1-00 against the California Department of
Board of Forestry and Resources Agency.
Scientists and federal officials have roundly criticized California's Forest
Practice Rules for failing to adequately protect coho from harm caused by
logging. Recent changes to the Rules, negotiated by Governor Davis and
adopted by the Board of Forestry in March are insufficient to address the
crisis facing California's salmon. These inadequate rules are only temporary
and will expire at the end of December.
The preliminary injunction motion cites overwhelming evidence that the
state's logging rules do not protect coho. The motion points to much
more extensive logging restrictions employed on federal lands. It also cites
studies by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the federal agency
responsible for recovering the coho, showing that California logging rules
regularly permit destruction of coho habitat. Four noted scientific
disciplines ranging from geomorphology to fisheries biology, filed
with the court explaining how the state's logging rules allow habitat
modification as well as direct harm to the imperiled fish.
126 GAS AND OIL LEASES WITHDRAWN TO PROTECT IMPERILED
ALASKAN BELUGA WHALE
On 5-1-00, in response to a suit by Cook Inlet Keeper and five other
conservation groups, an Alaska Superior Court judge ruled that the state's
new oil and gas leasing rules are not sufficient to protect the imperiled Cook
Inlet beluga whale from noise and pollution. Judge Murphy not only refused to
lift his year old order excluding 70 tracts from oil and gas leasing, he added
56 more tracts recently identified as important whale gathering sites by the
National Marine Fisheries Service. The original 70 tracts were at the mouths
of rivers in the Upper Inlet, especially in the Turnagain and Knik arms. The
newly protected tracts are in the Middle Inlet, including the mouth of the
Kenai and Kasilof rivers.
Though the leases could still theoretically be issued under strong
environmental limitations, the state has decided not to issue them at all.
The Cook Inlet beluga whale has declined from over 1,000 individuals to
about 350 in recent years. It is threatened by oil development, commercial
fishing, and discharge of urban and industrial wastes. In March 1999, the
Center for Biological Diversity, Trustees for Alaska, Center for Marine
Conservation, and former native whale hunter, Joel Blatchford, petitioned the
Fisheries Service to list the beluga as an endangered species. The Service
issued a positive initial finding, but has stalled in proposing the whale for
listing. In order to break the political gridlock, the petitioners filed
5-8-00, demanding that the Service rule on the petition before the beluga
declines even farther.
BLM REFUSES TO CONSIDER CRITICAL DESERT HABITAT FOR
PROTECTION AS "WILDERNESS"- SEND AN EMAIL MESSAGE TODAY!
The Sand Tank Mountains, covering 80,000 spectacular acres in southwest
Arizona, is one of several large chunks of the Sonoran Desert that the US
Department of Defense formerly managed, but no longer needs. The Bureau
of Land Management (BLM) was charged last year with evaluating how best
to manage this gorgeous desert country. The agency, however, is refusing to
inventory the Sand Tanks for wilderness potential. Please click the link
below to send the BLM a message that Sand Tanks need to be protected
Comment are due by May 31, 2000.
ENDANGERED TOTEMS. Eleven of the twelve western states have adopted
imperiled species as their state fish: New Mexico (Rio Grande cutthroat
trout), Arizona (Apache trout), Colorado (Greenback cutthroat trout), Utah
(Bonneville cutthroat trout), Nevada (Lahontan cutthroat trout), California
(Golden trout), Oregon (Chinook salmon), Washington (Steelhead trout),
Idaho, Montana and Wyoming (Cutthroat trout).
Kierán Suckling firstname.lastname@example.org
Science and Policy Director 520.623.5252 phone
Center for Biological Diversity 520.623.9797 fax
<www.biologicaldiversity.org> POB 710, Tucson, AZ 85702-0710