Subject: FW: BIODIVERSITY ACTIVIST #245


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              CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

            <www.sw-center.org>      7-22-00      #245
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FEDS PROPOSE PROTECTION OF 13.5 MILLION ACRES OF
    FOREST IN AZ, NM, UT, AND CO FOR MEXICAN SPOTTED OWL

SUIT FILED TO CLEAN UP DOZENS OF HAWAI'IAN RIVERS

REPORT: PACIFIC FISHER HEADING TOWARD EXTINCTION IN
    SIERRA NEVADA

FOREST SERVICE REJECTS HELICOPTER HUNTING PLAN

CALLS AND LETTERS NEEDED TO STOP BACKROOM ANIMAS-LA
    PLATA DEAL

FEDS PROPOSE PROTECTION OF 13.5 MILLION ACRES OF FOREST
IN AZ, NM, UT, AND CO FOR MEXICAN SPOTTED OWL
In keeping with a court ordered obtained by the Center for Biological
Diversity, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service published a proposed rule on
7-21-00 to designate and protect 13,487,544 acres of "critical habitat" for
the Mexican spotted owl in AZ, NM, and the southern forests of UT, and
CO. The proposal includes 5.0  million acres of federal and tribal lands in
AZ, 4.6 million in NM, 3.3 million in UT, and .57 million in CO. A final rule
must be issued by 1-15-01. No private or state lands were included.

The Mexican spotted owl was listed as a federally "threatened" species in
1993 because of the planned liquidation of its old growth forest habitat in
the American Southwest and Mexico. It has been extirpated from
southern Mexico and low elevation riparian forests in Arizona and New
Mexico. Only about 2,100 owls are thought to still exist north of the
border.

Since 1993, the Center has won designation of 2,790 miles of river
and 833,002 acres of land as "critical habitat" for a multitude of
endangered species. It currently has 68.8 million acres under proposal,
including 1.81 million acres in California, 13.5 million acres in New
Mexico, and 53.5 million acres in Alaska.
      ____________________________

SUIT FILED TO CLEAN UP DOZENS OF HAWAI'IAN RIVERS
On 7-12-00, the Hhwai Stream Restoration Coalition and the Center for
Biological Diversity filed suit to force the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) to begin cleaning up dozens of polluted streams and rivers on
the Hawai`ian Islands. The Clean Water Act requires that each state
submit -- and EPA approve -- a list of all water bodies within the state that
fail to meet or are not expected to meet state water quality standards.
Once polluted waters are identified, the state must promulgate Total
Maximum Daily Loads ("TMDLs") for each water body on the list. A TMDL
is the maximum amount of a given pollutant that may be discharged or
"loaded" into the water body from all sources without violating water
quality standards.

In 1998, EPA approved a state list identifying only 18 impaired water
bodies, even though it knew of at least 50 other water bodies that either
did not meet or were not expected to meet water quality standards.
Moreover, EPA has allowed the state to drag its feet in promulgating
TMDLs and has approved TMDLs that fail to comply with the Clean
Water Act's stringent requirements.

The case is being argued by Kapua Sproat of the Earthjustice Legal
Defense Fund.
      ______________________

REPORT: PACIFIC FISHER HEADING TOWARD EXTINCTION IN
SIERRA NEVADA
On 7-19-00, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Nevada
Forest Protection Campaign released a report on the status of the Pacific
fisher in California's Sierra Nevada range. A relative of the mink and otter,
the fisher is closely associated with old-growth forests. The Sierra Nevada
population has been cut off from other populations on the West Coast and
the Northern Rockies due to decades of heavy logging and trapping in the
northern and central Sierras.

The Forest Service is currently accepting comments on a plan (The Sierra
Nevada Framework) that is supposed to maintain viable populations of
fishers, spotted owls, goshawks and other forest dependent species.
According to the report, however, the plan falls far short of what is needed
to keep the fisher from going extinct in the Sierra Nevada. A recent study
by federal and academic biologists, for example, concluded that unless
fishers are surviving and reproducing at rates that are probably "extremely
optimistic and likely unrealistic...a steady decline towards extinction
would occur."

To read the report and find out more about the Center's efforts to save the
fisher, check out
<http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd/species/fisher/fisherpr.html>
      _______________________

FOREST SERVICE REJECTS HELICOPTER HUNTING PLAN
Under formal threat of a lawsuit from the Center and the Ventana
Wilderness Alliance, The Los Padres National Forest has denied an
application for a special use permit to allow hunting guide outfitting via
helicopter fly-ins in remote areas of the Los Padres National Forest near
Big Sur. The proposal called for helicopters to land adjacent to the
Ventana Wilderness area. The vicinity of at least two of the four landing
sites are utilized by condors and condors are known to use the projected
flight paths of the helicopter operations. Such low level flights cause nest
abandonment, flushing from the nests and roosts, high stress levels, and
lower reproductive success.

The Forest Service received over 75 letters, emails and calls opposing the
proposal. Thanks to all who wrote!
      __________________________

CALLS AND LETTERS NEEDED TO STOP BACKROOM ANIMAS-LA
PLATA DEAL
House Republicans are pushing a backroom deal to limit debate and prevent
beneficial amendments to a bill that would push through the controversial
Animas-La Plata project in southern Colorado. One of last of the old time
dam and diversion projects, the Animas-La Plata project would destroy some
of Colorado's most scenic and biologically valuable rivers. Realizing that
public opposition to the project is intense, republicans are trying to
engineer
a vote on the bill (HR 3112 ) under a little known policy known as
"Suspension of the Rules". This would kill any meaningful debate and likely
prevent attempts to amend HR 3112.

Please call the House leadership and tell them you oppose HR 3112, that
it must be referred to the Rules Committee, and not be placed on the
Suspension Calendar.  The House leaders are

   Tom Delay (Republican Majority Whip)
     202-225-5951,  202-225-5241(fax)
     http//www.house.gov/writerep/

   Dennis Hastert (Speaker of the House)
     202-225-2976,  202-225-0697(fax)
     dhastert@mail.house.gov

   Richard A. Gephardt (Minority Leader)   (ask for Shawn Kennedy)
     202-225-2671, 202-225-7452 (fax)
     gephardt@mail.house.gov

   David E. Bonior (Minority Whip)
     202-225-2106, 202-226-1169 (fax)
     david.bonior@mail.house.gov

A sample letter that could be faxed or emailed is below

7/19/00

RE: HR 3112, Animas-La Plata Project

Dear ______

HR 3112 was approved by the House Committee on Resources today,
and a request to have it placed on the Suspension Calendar may be
made.

HR 3112 is a contentious bill which is opposed by numerous
environmental and taxpayer groups and is not a candidate for a
Suspension Vote.  Similar legislation to authorize the Animas-La Plata
Project was defeated on the floor of the House in 1996.  Many legislators
have grave doubts about the merit of this version of ALP, as well.

Two amendments to HR 3112 were offered in the Resources Committee
and the vote in favor of the bill was far from unanimous.  This bill deserves
careful consideration by the full House of Representatives.

We hope you will deny any request that HR 3112 be placed on the
Suspension Calendar and insist that the legislation proceed to the Rules
Committee.
_____________________________________________________________

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).

Kiern 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

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