CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
<www.sw-center.org> 8-7-00 #246
§ SUIT FILED TO PROTECT SAN PEDRO RIVER WILDLIFE
§ SUIT FILED TO LIST YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO AS
ENDANGERED IN 49 STATES, CANADA, AND MEXICO
§ REPORT: QUEEN CHARLOTTE GOSHAWK THREATENED BY
§ POLLS -SAN PEDRO RIVER RESIDENTS WANT RIVER SAVED
- ARIZONANS WANT SPRAWL CURBED
§ LETTERS/EMAILS/FAXES NEEDED TO PROTECT 11.5 MILLION
ACRES OF FOREST IN THE SIERRA NEVADA
SUIT FILED TO PROTECT SAN PEDRO RIVER WILDLIFE
The Center for Biological Diversity and the San Pedro 100 have filed suit
to strike down a federal plan which will allow the continued dewatering of
the San Pedro River in southeast Arizona. The river basin is currently losing
7,000 acre of water per year more than is being replenished. This is already
causing noticeable drying of the river and will eventually lead to its death.
In its review of the military impacts to the aquifer, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife
Service determined that Fort Huachuca is responsible for the pumping of
5,802 acre-feet per year, or 62% of the 7,000 acre feet overdraft. The Fish &
Wildlife Service, however, has signed off on a speculative "plan" that will
allow Fort Huachuca to continue operating at a massive level, with a vague
commitment to return 600 acre-feet per year to the aquifer for the next 10
years, and to "participate" in "conservation activities" to be named at some
time in the future.
The Center has filed suit because the Endangered Species Act requires
that all plans be based on scientific information and measurable goals.
The military "plan", by contrast, is nothing but a grab bag of vague promises.
The case is being argued by Susan Daggett of Earthjustice (Denver).
SUIT FILED TO LIST YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO AS ENDANGERED
IN 49 STATES, CANADA, AND MEXICO
On 7-31-00, the Center for Biological Diversity and other groups filed
suit in a Portland federal court to list the Yellow-billed Cuckoo as an
endangered species throughout its range in North America including all
U.S. states (except HI), southern Canada, and northern Mexico. Joining
in the suit were the Huachuca Audubon Society, Maricopa Audubon
Society, ONRC (Oregon Natural Resources Council), Wetlands Action
Network, Wildlife Damage Review, San Pedro 100, Southern Utah
Wilderness Alliance, Friends of the River, Sky Island Alliance, Oregon
Natural Desert Association, and Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center.
Due to widespread destruction of riparian forests by logging, grazing,
dam building, agribusiness, water pumping, diversions and urban
sprawl, the western subspecies of Yellow-billed cuckoo has declined
precipitously west of the Continental Divide and is now extinct in Alaska,
British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and northernmost California. It
is extinct or close to it in most interior western states. Its only remaining
"strongholds" are in southern California (the Kern River), Arizona (the San
Pedro River), and New Mexico (Gila, San Francisco, and Rio Grande
rivers). The eastern subspecies is not yet extinct in any states, but is
declining rapidly. It has been reduced by 25-99% in most eastern states
Despite widespread support for listing in the scientific community, the
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has delayed protecting western cuckoos
and has refused to protect eastern cuckoos. The suit is being argued by
Stephanie Parent of the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center
(Portland) and Neil Levine of Earthjustice (Denver).
The Center's cuckoo web page has links, photos, bird songs, letters by
scientists, legal documents, and a more detailed explanation of cuckoo
REPORT: QUEEN CHARLOTTE GOSHAWK THREATENED BY
A report by the British Columbia Ministry of Environment entitled "A
Review of the Ecology, Management and Conservation of the Northern
Goshawk in British Columbia" concludes that less than 200 pairs of
Queen Charlotte goshawks likely remain in the entire province. The
government report suggests that the Queen Charlotte goshawk qualifies
for listing as a "threatened" species by the Committee on the Status of
Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).
British Columbia comprises 50% of the subspecies' range. The other 50%
lies in the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska. The Center for
Biological Diversity, Sitka Conservation Society, Defenders of Wildlife,
Biodiversity Legal Foundation, and Northwest Ecosystem Alliance have
petitioned and litigated to list the Queen Charlotte goshawk as an
endangered species throughout its range in Alaska and British Columbia.
Despite repeated admissions by the British Columbia government that old
growth logging continue to harm goshawks, and that Candian management
plans are insufficient, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service maintains that the
goshawk is safe in both British Columbia and Alaska. The Service's refusal
to give ESA protection to the goshawk is currently being litigated in
POLLS: - SAN PEDRO RIVER RESIDENTS WANT RIVER PROTECTION
- ARIZONANS WANT TO CURB SPRAWL
A July 17, 2000 poll by the Sierra Vista Herald and Bisbee Daily Review
shows that three out of four people in the Upper San Pedro River Basin
believe steps must be taken to ensure the waterway remains a running
river. Seventy two percent believe keeping the river flowing is either
important or very important. Only 12 percent felt protection of the river was
Among those who have lived in the upper basin for 20 years or more, 76%
supported the rivers free-flowing future. Those earning less than $30,000
supported the river with the strongest rating of 77%. As income increased,
support decreased, but never fell below 66%. People between the ages of
35 and 54 gave the river the strongest support.
According to a July 17, 2000 poll by KAET TV-Arizona State University,
68% of voters will vote for the Sierra Club sponsored Citizen's Growth
Management Initiative. Fifteen percent of voters were undecided, and 17
percent were opposed. The initiative would make local communities
develop locally approved growth boundaries and force developers to pay
new infrastructure costs.
LETTERS NEEDED TO PROTECT 11.5 MILLION ACRES OF FOREST
IN THE SIERRA NEVADA
Logging and road building have devastated old-growth forests in California's
Sierra Nevada, threatening such species as the California spotted owl, Pacific
fisher, pine marten, and red fox. Off-road vehicles, water diversions and
livestock grazing are degrading habitat for hundreds of species including
the Little willow flycatcher,Yellow-legged frog and Yosemite toad.
The U.S. Forest Service is now taking comments on a draft plan which is
supposed to curb these abuses. Its preferred alternative, however, does
not provide enough protection for forests or streams. Please email them
by August 11th and say:
- Alternative 5 provides the best long-term protection for watersheds,
old-growth forests, roadless areas, tourism, recreation, and wildlife.
- Alternative 5 will best protect water quality. Water is the single most
valuable economic commodity in the Sierra Nevada's national forests.
- Alternative 5 would cost taxpayers far less than the timber industry's
choice and would cost less than the budget for the Forest Service's
Send comments today to:
USDA Forest Service - CAET
Sierra Nevada Framework Project
P.O. Box 7669, Missoula, MT 59807
EMAIL: email@example.com (enter "SNFP comments: select Alt 5"
in subject line)
FAX: (406) 329-3021
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