From: Kieran Suckling [ksuckling@biologicaldiversity.org]
Sent: Saturday, June 30, 2001 1:45 PM
To: Recipient list suppressed
Subject: BIODIVERSITY ACTIVIST #278
<<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><>><<>
             CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

           <www.biologicaldiversity.org>      6-30-01      #278
<<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><<>><>><<>

§ BUSH EXTINCTION RIDER REJECTED BY SENATE;
   LISTING BUDGET INCREASED OVER BUSH OBJECTION;
   REPORT: CITIZEN SUITS NECESSARY TO PROTECT SPECIES

§ GOSHAWK/FOREST PROTECTION SUIT WINS FIRST ROUND

§ PETITION FILED TO LIST SONOMA COUNTY CALIFORNIA TIGER
   SALAMANDER AS AN ENDANGERED SPECIES

§ FEDS: BOCACCIO MAY BE ENDANGERED- WOULD BE FIRST
   COMMERCIAL MARINE SPECIES PROTECTED UNDER E.S.A.

§ CENTER JOINS INTERNATIONAL WHALING COMMISSION
   SCIENTIFIC PANEL IN ROME

BUSH EXTINCTION RIDER REJECTED BY SENATE:
LISTING BUDGET INCREASED OVER BUSH OBJECTIONS;
REPORT: CITIZEN SUITS NECESSARY TO PROTECT SPECIES
In the second legislative blow this month to George Bush’s anti-
endangered species campaign, a key Senate committee rejected his call
to place an extinction rider on the Department of Interior Appropriations
bill. The rider would have suspended all timelines to protect endangered
species and undermined the ability of citizens to file lawsuits to prevent
species from going extinct.

Earlier this month, a key House of Representatives committee
unanimously rejected a different version of the same rider. The Senate
went even farther, increasing the budget for listing of endangered species
and designation of critical habitat to $9 million. Though the budget is still
woefully inadequate, it signals a congressional willingness to override
Bush’s efforts to prevent the placement of imperiled plants and animals on
the endangered species list by stifling the listing budget.

The Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, and the
Endangered Species Coalition have released a report, “Conservation in
Action,” which demonstrates the importance of maintaining citizen
oversight of the Endangered Species Act. Conservation in Action shows
that the great majority of imperiled species only got onto the endangered
species list because of petitions and lawsuits by scientists, religious
groups, and environmental advocates. Ninety-two percent of all listing in
CA in the past decade were driven by citizens initiatives. These initiatives
increased the annual listing rate by almost 500%.

The report also shows how designation of “critical habitat areas” has
greatly increased habitat protection and improved land management in the
western U.S.

To find out more and read the report, please visit our website:
<www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd/activist/ESA/bush-esa.html>

GOSHAWK/FOREST PROTECTION SUIT WINS FIRST ROUND
In a major blow to the Forest Service, a federal judge ruled on 6-15-01
that a suit challenging logging on 8 million acres of forest in the southwest
is “ripe” for review. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club
have asked for an injunction on logging within northern goshawk habitat
on eleven Arizona and New Mexico National Forests until the U.S. Forest
Service prepares a new, stronger goshawk conservation plan.

The Forest Service tried to block the lawsuit, contending that large-scale
management plans are exempt from judicial review. They would have us
forever challenge each individual timber sale without addressing the big
picture. Judge Robert Broomfield rejected the government’s dodge and is
allowing the suit to go forward.

The northern goshawk is closely associated with mature and old-growth
forests with high canopy cover. Old growth logging has caused it to decline
throughout the West. The Forest Service developed a SW conservation
plan for the species in 1996 in response to pressure from environmental
groups and goshawk researchers. The first draft of the plan called for
extensive protection of mature forests, but it was scrapped despite the
objection of state and federal wildlife agencies, when the timber industry
and Forest Service opposed it. The final watered-down plan allows
extensive logging, even in mature forests.

For more information, please visit our website:
<www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd/species/goshawk/swgoshawk.html>

PETITION FILED TO LIST SONOMA CALIFORNIA TIGER
SALAMANDER AS AN ENDANGERED SPECIES
Seeking to end a seven year federal delay and prevent the extinction of
one of California’s most beautiful species, the Center for Biological
Diversity and Citizens for a Sustainable Cotati filed an emergency petition
on 6-11-01 to designate the Sonoma County population of the California
tiger salamander as an endangered species.

In 1994, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service acknowledged that the California
tiger salamander qualifies for federal protection, but refused to act on a
listing petition authored by one of California’s top salamander scientists.
The agency instead placed it on the “Warranted (for listing) But Precluded
(by alleged higher priorities)” list. Consequently, the species has continued
to spiral toward extinction, forcing the agency to take piecemeal
emergency actions such as emergency listing the Santa Barbara
population as endangered in 2000. Now it must review the Sonoma
population for emergency listing as well. The species and the agency’s
limited resources would have been much better served by listing the entire
species as endangered back in 1994.

Historically, the Sonoma County California tiger salamander ranged
throughout the Santa Rosa Plain and adjacent lowlands. It may have also
have extended into southern Marin and Napa counties. Today, it has been
eliminated from all but four small islands of habitat: west Santa Rosa, south
Santa Rosa, west Cotati, and south Cotati where explosive sprawl
and vineyard proliferation are pushing it to extinction. The largest
protected area supporting the species is just over 100 acres, far less than
is needed for long-term survival. The salamander is also threatened by
introduced exotic species, agricultural contaminants, and mosquito
abatement and rodent control activities.

For more information on the Sonoma California tiger salamander:
<www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd/species/ctigersal/index.html>

FEDS: BOCACCIO MAY BE ENDANGERED- WOULD BE FIRST
COMMERCIAL MARINE SPECIES PROTECTED UNDER E.S.A.
On 6-14-01, the National Marine Fisheries Service published a positive
initial finding on a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity, NRDC,
and the Center for Marine Conservation to protect the bocaccio (aka
Pacific red snapper) under the Endangered Species Act. As the first
commercial marine species to have declined to near extinction, the fate of
the bocaccio heralds a growing crisis in global commercial fisheries.

A formal proposal to list the bocaccio under the Endangered Species Act
is expected in March, 2002.

Bocaccio once was the dominant species of rockfish caught by trawl
fishermen on the Pacific coast, but its numbers have declined 98% since
1969. Overfishing is the principle threat, with habitat degradation likely
being a contributing factor as well. In recent decades commercial fishing
technology has advanced tremendously making fish-finding equipment
highly accurate, nets stronger, and fishing gear more versatile. Combined
with an increase in fishing boats, expanded fishing areas and inadequate
management, these innovations have led to severe over-fishing.

The habitats of both young and adult bocaccio are also under pressure.
The piers, rocky areas and kelp forests inhabited by young bocaccio are
near the urbanized coast and are degraded by stormwater runoff, oil spills
and other pollution. The deep waters favored by adult bocaccio have been
altered by the repeated scraping of the ocean floor by heavy trawl nets
and other bottom-fishing gear.
     ____________________________

CENTER JOINS INTERNATIONAL WHALING COMMISSION
SCIENTIFIC PANEL IN ROME
Center for Biological Diversity population ecologist, Dr. Martin Taylor,
presented a paper on the quantitative modeling of habitat degradation
impacts on cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) to a scientific
working group of the International Whaling Commission in Rome, June
11-12. Dr. Taylor has developed the first quantitative population viability
model for killer whales. His findings served as a foundation of the Center’s
petition to protect the Puget Sound population of killer whales under the
U.S. Endangered Species Act.

The International Whaling Commission regulates global whale hunting.  In
1986 it declared an indefinite moratorium on commercial whaling in order
to reverse declining populations. But the Commission is now increasingly
alarmed at escalating habitat threats to cetaceans including global warming,
depletion of fish stocks, toxic chemical wastes, oil spills, nutrient
overload, disease epidemics, and noise from military and undersea mining
operations.  The workshop developed a framework for vitally needed
research into habitat degradation, and established an agenda for a larger
conference on habitat issues next year. The ultimate goal is to develop new
international treaty provisions for protection cetacean habitat, not just
protection from hunting.

The Center’s killer whale page
<www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd/species/orca/index.html>
The Center’s northern right whale page
<www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd/species/right/nprw1.html>
The Center’s bowhead whale page
<www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd/species/bowhead/index.html>
The Center’s Cook Inlet beluga whale page
<www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd/species/beluga/beluga.html>








Kierán Suckling                           ksuckling@biologicaldiversity.org
Executive Director                        520.623.5252 phone
Center for Biological Diversity        520.623.9797 fax
<www.biologicaldiversity.org>        POB 710, Tucson, AZ 85702-0710