Subject: FW: SW BIODIVERSITY ALERT #25


Subject: SW BIODIVERSITY ALERT #25

* ************* Southwest Biodiversity Alert #25 *****************
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*            southwest center for biological diversity           *
*                      ksuckling@sw-center.org                   *
*             http://www.envirolink.org/orgs/sw-center           *
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1.  JUDGE RULES ARMY IS IN COMPLIANCE WITH ESA-
    WARNS THAT SAN PEDRO RIVER IS BEING KILLED BY DEVELOPMENT

2.  SOUTHWEST CENTER CHAIR, ROBIN SILVER, RUNS FOR CONGRESS-
    AS REPUBLICAN

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1.  JUDGE RULES ARMY IS IN COMPLIANCE WITH ESA-
    WARNS THAT SAN PEDRO RIVER IS BEING KILLED BY DEVELOPMENT

A Federal Judge has ruled against the Southwest Center in its bid to
force Fort Huachuca in southern Arizona to consult with the Fish
and Wildlife Service over the effects of base expansion on the San
Pedro River.  Warning that the river is being sucked dry, the judge
nevertheless ruled that the until "informal" consultation is complete,
the base can not be forced to enter formal consultation.

The Southwest Center is preparing an appeal.

The San Pedro is the Southwest's last undammed river.  In 1987,
the upper 45 miles were designated the country's first National
Riparian Conservation Area. All cattle were removed, off road
vehicles and mines were banned.  Unfortunately, water rights were
not obtained.  The San Pedro is a small river and development,
especially the expansion of Fort Huachuca will completely dry the
river up.  In his ruling, the judge quoted from Defense Department
report:

"Thus, the level of groundwater pumping at the Post currently
influences the rate of growth of the cone of depression, rather than
directly affecting the flows in the San Pedro River. As the cone of
depression continues to grow, it will eventually capture the base
flow of the San Pedro River and perennial flows will be lost. Recent
groundwater modelling demonstrates that the cone of depression is
so large that it will capture the River even if all groundwater pumping
ceases. Thus, groundwater pumping at the Post and surrounding communities
affects the timing of the desiccation of the River."

This ruling is an excellent example of the weakness of the ESA and
the need to reform "informal" consultations which subvert formal,
legally binding consultation.  The Endangered Natural Heritage Act, an
ESA reauthorization bill developed by the Endangered
Species Coalition would stop "informal" consultation abuse.  Check
it out:   <http:\www.envirolink.org\orgs\sw-center>


2.  SOUTHWEST CENTER CHAIR, ROBIN SILVER, RUNS FOR CONGRESS-
    AS REPUBLICAN

Southwest Center Conservation Chairman, Dr. Robin Silver, has
announced he will challenge Representative John Shadegg in the
Republican primary.  According the New Times: "the race can be
expected to make for an interesting pair off of extreme views: the
environmentalists vs. the anti-environmentalist, green vs. brown,
Preservationists vs. wise user."

Shadegg heads up GOPAC, the Republican Party fundraising machine. 
According to Silver, GOPAC is "the who's who of people
either benefitting from tax loopholes or federal subsidies, its the
who's who of those benefiting from weakening of public health and
safety standards, of weakening protection for public lands."

According to Shadegg, Silver is "a bright and articulate guy. I will
take it very seriously, and we'll work hard. When you look at the
successes he's had when he's taken on the University of Arizona and
that whole telescope project, when you look at the success he had
taking on the timber industry and the Forest Service - this is a very
bright and articulate spokesman for his cause."