CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
<www.biologicaldiversity.org> 9-15-00 #251
§ FIRST PRIMATE DECLARED EXTINCT IN 200 YEARS
§ MONTEREY BAY GILLNETTING SHUT DOWN TO
PROTECT ENDANGERED OTTERS
§ REPORT: ROADLESS, OLD GROWTH LOGGING WON'T STOP
§ CATTLE MAY BE REMOVED FROM 340,000 ACRES OF MOHAVE
§ DUNN ROAD CLOSED TO PROTECT BIGHORN SHEEP
§ LETTERS/FAXES NEEDED TO STOP ENDANGERED
SPECIES EXEMPTION ON MARINE BASES
FIRST PRIMATE DECLARED EXTINCT IN 200 YEARS
Miss Waldron's red colobus, a large West African monkey, has been
officially declared extinct. It is the first recorded primate extinction since
Xenothrix mcgregori disappeared from Jamaica in the 1700's and only
the second primate extinction since several giant lemurs were driven to
extinction on Madagascar in the 1500's.
In a paper to be published in the October issue of Conservation Biology,
anthropologist John Oates and others predict that other West African
extinctions will follow if habitat loss and poaching are not stopped soon.
Other researchers have suggested that habitat loss has already created
an "extinction debt" making further primate losses simply a matter of
time. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Primate
Specialist Group lists 120 of the world's 620 primates as "critically
endangered" or "endangered", including the Bonobo, one of Homo
sapien's closes relative. Check out the Bonobo Protection Fund at
MONTEREY BAY SET GILLNET FISHERY SHUT DOWN TO PROTECT
In response to a formal notice of intent to sue by the Center for Biological
Diversity and the Turtle Island Restoration Network, the California
Department of Fish and Game (DFG) shut down the Monterey Bay set-
gillnet fishery for halibut and angel shark on 9-11-00. The order bans
gillnetting in waters less than 60 fathoms from Pt. Reyes to Yankee Point.
As almost all gillnet fishing for halibut occurs in waters less than 60
fathoms, the closure effectively bans gillnet fishing in most of the
Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Despite the name, commercial
fishing is not regulated within National Marine Sanctuaries.
The "threatened" California sea otter has dramatically declined in the
past four years, in part due to drowning in gillnets. The fishery also
annually kills 120 harbor porpoises, 5,200 common murres, elephant
seals, and California sea lions. Common murres have declined from one
million to about 100,000 on the Farallon Islands in the past two centuries.
In issuing the 120 day emergency closure, the Fish and Game
Department admitted that otter and murre populations could be
jeopardized by the fishery.
The closure also shuts down a portion of Santa Barbara County to gillnet
fishing. In total, 150 miles of California's coast are protected from this
destructive fishery by the closure.
A public hearing on the emergency closure will be held Monday,
September 18, 2000, from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. at the Seaside City Hall,
440 Harcourt Avenue, Seaside, California. Please attend the meeting and
urge that the ban be made permanent.
REPORT: ROADLESS, OLD GROWTH LOGGING WON'T STOP FIRES
The Pacific Biodiversity Institute has completed a report on western
wildfires entitled "Assessment of Summer 2000 Wildfires: Landscape
History, Current Condition and Ownership". Using satellite imagery,
federal fire data, and computer mapping systems, the Institute closely
examined eleven of the largest fires in the Northern Rockies as well as
national trends. Contrary to Republican and timber industry assertions
that the fires were caused by excessive amounts of old growth forests,
wilderness areas, and roadless areas, the report demonstrates that
- Only 31% of the acreage burned was on National Forest land.
- Much of the land burned was not forest but grassland, juniper
woodland, and other non-forest land.
- Most of the forested area which burned was managed timberland, not
pristine old growth. Only 38% of the acres burned were in roadless or
- Much of the burning occurred in forests where intense fire is natural.
The report is available at <http//www.pacificbio.org/fire2000.htm>. It was
sponsored by the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife,
Harder Foundation, Heritage Forests Campaign, Northwest Ecosystem
Alliance, and the Pacific Rivers Council.
CATTLE MAY BE REMOVED FROM 340,000 ACRES OF MOHAVE
Following intense pressure from the Center for Biological Diversity,
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, Sierra Club and
others, the Needles Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management
proposed to cancel its portion of the Lanfair Valley Grazing Allotment in
the California Desert. A large portion of the allotment is within designated
critical habitat for the endangered desert tortoise which is threatened by
livestock grazing. The proposal fulfills a commitment made by the BLM in
1999 to cancel the allotment should the National Park Service retire its
The Lanfair Valley Allotment covers 339,553 acres and has been used to
support 12,168 animal-unit-months of cattle. A private third party is
negotiating acquisition of the grazing privileges from the permittee. The
grazing privileges will be permanently retired. The base property for the
Lanfair Valley Allotment is well over 10,000 privately owned acres.
Under section 510(b) of the California Desert Protection Act, these private
lands now become federal public lands within the boundaries,
and part, of the Mojave National Preserve.
In previous California Desert grazing actions, the Center, PEER and
others forced the removal of cattle from the 277,125 acre Granite
Mountains Grazing Allotment within BLM's Bristol Mountains Wilderness.
DUNN ROAD CLOSED TO PROTECT BIGHORN SHEEP
Following a lawsuit by the Center for Biological Diversity, the BLM has
announced that it will close the controversial Dunn Road near Palm
Springs to motorized vehicles on October 1, 2000. The closure will last at
least until BLM completes its Coachella Valley Plan.
The Dunn Road was illegally constructed in 1966 and has been a
significant factor in the endangerment of the Peninsular Ranges bighorn
sheep which has been reduced to about 300 individuals. The Dunn Road
is a prominent target for permanent closure and revegetation in the Center's
lawsuit against BLM for failing to protect 24 endangered species
on 10.2 million acres of public land in the California Desert Conservation
LETTERS/FAXES NEEDED TO STOP ENDANGERED SPECIES
EXEMPTION ON MARINE BASES
U.S. Marine Corps officials from Camp Pendleton and Miramar bases in
San Diego County are engaged in an intense lobbying effort to thwart
habitat protections for four endangered southern California species. U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service officials are reportedly taking seriously a
request by the Marines that the two bases be entirely excluded from
Endangered Species Act "critical habitat" for the Arroyo southwestern
toad, California gnatcatcher, San Diego fairy shrimp and the Tidewater
goby. This exemption would result in continued destruction of essential
coastal sage scrub, vernal pool, stream-side forest and estuary by the
Forty-one groups led by the Center sent a letter on September 13
opposing the exemption. Such a blanket exemption would set a terrible
national precedent. Procedures already exist for exempting specific
projects from the ESA where there exists a compelling need and existing
bases programs are adequate to protect endangered species.
Please send your own letter today opposing this back room deal to:
Ms. Jamie Rappaport Clark, Director
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
1849 C Street NW, Washington DC 20240
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 email@example.com
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