From: Kieran Suckling [ksuckling@biologicaldiversity.org]
Sent: Saturday, July 08, 2000 8:30 PM
To: Recipient list suppressed
Subject: BIODIVERSITY ACTIVIST #243
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             CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

           <www.sw-center.org>      7-8-00      #243
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§  876,000 ACRES PROPOSED AS "CRITICAL HABITAT" FOR
   PENINSULAR BIGHORN SHEEP IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

§ 10,500 ACRES PROPOSED AS "CRITICAL HABITAT" FOR
   ZAYANTE BAND-WINGED GRASSHOPPER

§ BI-NATIONAL COALITION FILES HISTORIC SUIT TO PROTECT
   COLORADO RIVER DELTA FROM U.S. WATER DIVERSIONS

§ LETTERS NEEDED! FRITO-LAY DESTROYING NORTH
   AMERICA'S LARGEST PRAIRIE DOG COLONY

876,000 ACRES PROPOSED AS "CRITICAL HABITAT" FOR
PENINSULAR BIGHORN SHEEP IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
In accord with a legal settlement obtained by the Center for Biological
Diversity and Desert Survivors, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
published a proposal on 7-5-00 to designate 875,613 acres of critical
habitat in southern California for the endangered Peninsular bighorn
sheep. Reduced from 1,200 in the 1970's to just 335 today, the
Peninsular bighorn ranges from the San Jacinto Mountains of southern
California to the Volcan Tres Virgenes Mountains near Santa Rosalia
in Baja California.

In 1997, golf courses outnumbered bighorn in the Palm Springs area
91 to 75. Dozens of additional golf courses and developments are
scheduled to destroy the bighorn's dwindling habitat in the next few
years. Transmission of disease from sheep and cattle ranching also
threaten bighorn populations. Once the critical habitat designation is
finalized later this year, however, no federally permitted or funded
project (including large private developments) will be permitted to
"adversely modify" the sheep's habitat.

Since 1993, the Center has won designation of 2,790 miles of river
and 833,002 acres of land as "critical habitat" for endangered
species. An additional 1,160 miles of river and 55.3 million acres
of land have been proposed as critical habitat for a great diversity
of birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and insects.
    ______________________________

10,500 ACRES PROPOSED AS "CRITICAL HABITAT" FOR
ZAYANTE BAND-WINGED GRASSHOPPER
In accordance with a legal settlement with the Center for Biological
Diversity and Christians Caring for Creation, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife
Service published a proposal to designate 10,560 acres of "critical
habitat" for the Zayante band-winged grasshopper on 7-7-00. Occurring
only in Santa Cruz County,California, the Zayante band-winged grass-
hopper was first described in 1984. It has evolved to live in relatively open,
sandy areas, but over 60% of its habitat in the Zayante sand hills has
been destroyed by sand mining, urban sprawl, and agribusiness.

The California Academy of Sciences petitioned to list the grasshopper
as an endangered species in 1992. The Fish & Wildlife Service listed
in 1997, but refused to map out and protect specific areas as "critical
habitat" thus habitat loss continued to occur despite the listing. In
1999, the Center and Christians Caring for Creation filed suit to ensure
habitat protection for this rare and wonderful part of California's natural
heritage.

The Center's "Golden State Biodiversity Initiative" has successfully
obtained endangered species listings for 96 plants and animals
ranging from the Del Mar manzinita and Coachella Valley milk-vetch,
to the Jaguar, Laguna Mountain skipper butterfly, and San Diego
Fairy shrimp. Over 1.8 million acres of California's wildlands have
been formally proposed as critical habitat to protect threatened
and endangered species.
     _______________________________

BI-NATIONAL COALITION FILES HISTORIC SUIT TO PROTECT
COLORADO RIVER DELTA FROM U.S. WATER DIVERSIONS
A binational coalition of eight environmental groups led by the Center
for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife filed suit on 6-28-00
to obtain guaranteed water flows in the Colorado River to restore the
dwindling Colorado River Delta, Cienega de Santa Clara, and several
endangered species including the Southwestern willow flycatcher,
Vaquita (the world's rarest porpoise) and the Totoaba (a large fish).

So much water is dammed and diverted from the Colorado River for
urban and agricultural use in the U.S., that it often runs dry before
reaching the Delta and Gulf of California in Mexico. Lack of fresh water
inflow has severely degraded what used to be one the world's great
estuaries. Its wetlands have decline from some 1.9 million acres to just
150,000. Native peoples as well as fish, birds, mammals and mollusks
have all been impacted, as have fisheries in the northern gulf. The
Cienega de Santa Clara is also threatened by government plans to
divert its water source for use in the U.S.

The suit was brought against the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Dept.
of Interior, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Fish & Wildlife
Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service. It asserts that the
Endangered Species Act applies to federal agencies which are
causing habitat loss and take of endangered species, even in
foreign countries. Joining the Center and Defenders in the suit are the
Asociación Ecológica de Usuarios del Río Hardy-Colorado, Centro
Regional de Estudios Ambientales y Socioeconomicos, Defenders of
Wildlife, El Centro de Derecho Ambiental y Integración Económica del
Sur, A.C., Consejo Coordinador Empresarial De Mexicali, A.C., the
Humane Society of the United States and the Sierra Club.

In other efforts to change a hundred year long history of dewatering the
Colorado River, the Center, Defenders and others have published a
scientific study identifying the minimum water needs of the Delta,
organized a coalition representing eight million U.S. and Mexican
citizens calling for an amendment to the 1944 Colorado River water
treaty to permanently allocate water for the conservation and restoration
of the Delta, and continue to watchdog the water developer dominated
"Lower Colorado River Multiple Species Conservation Program."

The suit is being argued by Katherine Meyer of Meyer & Glitzenstein
(Washington, D.C.) and Bill Snape of Defenders of Wildlife.
     _____________________

LETTERS NEEDED! FRITO-LAY DESTROYING NORTH AMERICA'S
LARGEST PRAIRIE DOG COLONY
North America's largest black-tailed prairie dog complex is located
just north of Casas Grandes in Chihuahua, Mexico. The areas has
been under siege by intensive livestock grazing for decades, causing
the area inhabited by prairie dogs to decrease by 60-80% between
1988 and 2000.  In February, 2000, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
declared that the black-tailed prairie dog warranted listing under the
Endangered Species Act, but was allegedly unable to complete the
listing because of higher priorities.

While ranching was the primary cause of decline from 1988 to 1996,
expansion of potato fields has since because the major cause of
habitat loss. Frito-Lay's Mexican operations are one of the driving
forces behind the expansion. Please write Frito-Lay today demanding
they stop all destruction of prairie dog habitat in Chihuahua and
restore areas already lost to potato farming:

  Bill Moore, Environmental Program Manager
  Frito-Lay Corporation
  P.O. box 660634
  Dallas, TX 75266-0634

If you haven't already, please become a member of the Center for
Biological Diversity today:
<http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd/membership/member.html>
_____________________________________________________________

PLEASE NOTE NEW EMAIL ADDRESS: ksuckling@biologicaldiversity.org

Kierán Suckling                           ksuckling@biologicaldiversity.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