Subject: FW: SW BIODIVERSITY ALERT #24

Subject: SW BIODIVERSITY ALERT #24

* ************* Southwest Biodiversity Alert #23 *****************
*        *****                 *****               *****         *   
*                               ***                              *
*                                *                               *
*            southwest center for biological diversity           *
*                      ksuckling@sw-center.org                   *
*             http://www.envirolink.org/orgs/sw-center           *
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1.  HB SALVAGE SALE STOPPED!! EAGLE PEAK ROADLESS
    AREA SAVED.

2.  JUDGE ORDERS LISTING DECISION ON SIX SOUTHERN
    CALIFORNIA PLANTS- HELP MAY BE ON THE WAY FOR
    ENDANGERED MARITIME CHAPARRAL ECOSYSTEM.

3.  GRAND CANYON CONDOR RELEASE STALLED.

***  ***

1.  HB SALVAGE SALE STOPPED!! EAGLE PEAK ROADLESS
     AREA SAVED.

In response to a recent directive from the Secretary of Agriculture
limiting salvage logging in roadless areas, the Gila National Forest is
withdrawing the proposed 10 million board foot HB salvage timber
sale.

The largest, ugliest timber sale in the Southwest, HB has engendered
constant controversy since first being proposed in August 1995.  The
HB fire was started in an old growth roadless area the day the Salvage
Rider was signed into law. The Forest Service allowed it to burn
through the old growth and four spotted owl territories before
attempting to stop the fire. Within two days of the fire's start, and
many weeks before its end, the Forest Service had already proposed the
sale. When the final Mexican spotted owl Recovery Plan forbid salvage
logging in roadless areas, a Forest Service biologist illegally altered
the plan before it reached the printer, deleting the prohibition.  At the
request of the Southwest Center, an investigation was conducted into
the origin of the fire and the altering of the Recovery Plan. A second
Inspector General investigation, meanwhile, is investigating charges
of arson against Gila National Forest employees.

Special thanks to Mark Hughes (Earthlaw) for brilliantly and continually
arguing the Mexican spotted owl injunction which has halted all SW
logging since August, 1995.  Without the injunction, the HB salvage sale
would have been sold long before the Secretary of Agriculture's
directive.  Thanks also to Todd Schulke (Southwest Center) for his
relentless campaign against HB including the first ever environmental
demonstration in Reserve, Catron County, NM.  Finally, thanks to WAFC
and everyone else who tirelessly raised the roadless salvage logging
issue to the point of making the Glickman directive possible.


2.  JUDGE ORDERS LISTING DECISION ON SIX SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PLANTS-
    HELP MAY BE ON THE WAY FOR ENDANGERED MARITIME CHAPARRAL ECOSYSTEM.

A Federal Judge has ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to issue
a ruling, by September 30, 1996, on whether six southern California
plant species deserve listing under the Endangered Species Act.  The
imperiled plants are found only in the remaining 2,500 acres of southern
maritime chaparral habitat between northern San Diego County and southern
Orange County.  Much of this acreage is extremely fragmented- the two
largest patches are no more than 600 acres each.

The big-leaved crown beard, Del Mar Manzanita, Del Mar sand aster,
Encinitas baccharis, Orcutt's spineflower, and short-leaved dudleya are
primarily threatened by developers (Pardee, a massive development
corporation, tried unsuccessfully to intervene in the case). At least
two plants are in immediate danger of  extinction; fewer than twenty
individual Orcutt's chorizanthe plants remain at one location, and the
short-leaved dudleya is found at only five locations along a highly
developed ten mile stretch of coastline.


3.  GRAND CANYON CONDOR RELEASE STALLED.

Due to opposition by ranchers and miners, the Fish and Wildlife Service
has delayed plans to reintroduce endangered California condors to the
Grand Canyon.  Even if a decision were made this week, it is too late in
the year to begin reintroduction efforts.

Rumors have it that the FWS is trying to work out a special "no
surprises" agreement which would guarantee area ranchers and miners that
at no time in the future would condor conservation efforts impact them.