FOR TROUT AND ROADLESS AREAS
update on the Center's recent efforts to protect native western trout and their
last refuge in federal roadless and wilderness areas
- REPORT: WESTERN
TROUT NEED ROADLESS HABITAT
- CALIFORNIA WILDERNESS PROTECTED FROM CATTLE
- MONTANA TIMBER SALE REDUCED BY 33,000 ACRES
- ARIZONA TIMBER SALE WITHDRAWN
- NEW MEXICO AND COLORADO: FEDS TO REVIEW STATUS OF RIO GRANDE CUTTHROAT TROUT
- WASHINGTON AND OREGON: FEDS TO REVIEW STATUS OF COASTAL CUTTHROAT TROUT
- WANTED: YOUR
IDEAS. TELL US WHAT YOU THINK!
REPORT: NATIVE TROUT NEED WILDERNESS
The Western Native
Trout Campaign released a scientific report on 11-5-01 showing the importance
of roadless areas to imperiled native western trout. Using GIS technology and
biological indicators of trout health, the report demonstrates that the remaining
healthy populations of native trout are strongly correlated with roadless areas.
If these areas are fragmented with road construction as proposed by the Bush
administration, extinction of unique trout populations and possibly entire species
Over 2.8 million acres of
roadless areas were lost in the past two decades alone.
The Western Native Trout
Campaign is a coalition of conservation and angling groups dedicated to studying,
protecting and enjoying the West's native trout. The report was produced by
Biodiversity Associates, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Pacific
Visit the Western
Native Trout Campaign.
WILDERNESS PROTECTED FROM CATTLE
In response to an appeal
by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Ventana Wilderness Alliance,
the Los Padres National Forest has withdrawn its decision to increase livestock
grazing on eight federal grazing allotments along the Big Sur coast in California.
In addition to allowing cattle back into a cow-free wilderness area, the decision
would have increased cattle on Salmon, Cozy Cove and San Carpoforo creeks. In
all, about 30,000 acres will remain cattle-free because of the appeal
Endangered species harmed
by grazing on the Big Sur coast are steelhead trout, California red-legged frog,
Smith's blue butterfly and a number of vernal pool crustaceans.
TIMBER SALE REDUCED BY 33,000 ACRES
On 2-7-02, the Center for
Biological Diversity, The Wilderness Society, Pacific Rivers Council, The Ecology
Center, Friends of the Bitterroots and other groups reached a legal settlement
with the U.S. Forest Service reducing the Bitterroot Salvage timber sale by
two-thirds. Under the settlement, 33,000 acres and 120 million board feet of
timber were removed from the timber sale. The settlement targeted roadless areas
and sensitive trout habitat, taking 89% of the roadless areas, 75% of the bull
trout watersheds, and 70% of the westslope cutthroat trout watersheds out of
the sale. Where logging is allowed in the wildland/urban interface, it is limited
to trees under 22" in diameter.
The case was argued by the
Western Environmental Law Center and Earthjustice.
TIMBER SALE WITHDRAWN
In response to an appeal
filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club's Grand Canyon
chapter and the Southwest Forest Alliance, the Kaibab National Forest has withdrawn
the East Rim timber sale on the Kaibab Plateau. The timber sale would have logged
eight million board feet of trees in ponderosa pine, mixed conifer, aspen, and
spruce-fir habitat less than four miles from the Grand Canyon National Park.
Much of the sale directly bordered the Saddle Mountain Wilderness area, which
contains one of the few remaining genetically pure populations of the endangered
Apache trout. This population was only a three quarters of a mile away from
some proposed cutting units. The ill-fated timber sale would also have illegally
logged thousands of acres of designated old-growth stands.
The Kaibab Plateau contains
the Southwest's greatest concentration of remaining old-growth ponderosa pine,
the densest breeding population of northern goshawks in North America, and the
sole population of the endemic Kaibab squirrel. In recognition of its ecological
importance, the entire area was declared the Grand Canyon Game Preserve by President
Teddy Roosevelt in 1906.
The East Rim appeal is part
of a new campaign by the Southwest Forest Alliance, the Center for Biological
Diversity, and the Sierra Club to protect the Kaibab Plateau and have the entire
North Kaibab Ranger District designated an Old Growth Preserve. For more information
on the campaign click here...
AND COLORADO: FEDS TO REVIEW STATUS OF RIO GRANDE CUTTHROAT TROUT
The Center for Biological
Diversity has reached a legal settlement with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
to review New Mexico's state fish, the Rio Grande cutthroat trout, for listing
as an endangered species under the federal Endangered Species Act. The agency
has committed to completing a status review of the species and issuing a new
listing decision by 6-4-02.
On 2-5-98, the Center for
Biological Diversity and other groups petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service to list the Rio Grande cutthroat trout, as an endangered species. The
colorful trout formerly occurred throughout the higher elevations of the Rio
Grande river basin from southern New Mexico(and possibly Texas) to southern
Colorado. Despite acknowledging that the fish has disappeared from 95% of its
range due to logging, livestock grazing, road construction, and introduction
of exotic fish, the Fish & Wildlife Service declared that Endangered Species
Act listing was not warranted on 9-14-98. The Center filed suit to overturn
the decision on 6-9-99, leading to the 11-8-01 settlement.
The case was argued by Jay
Touchton of Earthjustice (Denver).
AND OREGON: FEDS TO REVIEW STATUS OF COASTAL CUTTHROAT TROUT
The Center for Biological
Diversity, the California Native Plant Society and the Southern Appalachian
Biodiversity Project have reached an agreement with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife
Service requiring the agency to assess the status of the coastal cutthroat trout
population in southwest Washington and the Columbia River (excluding the Willamette
River above Willamette Falls). The agency will issue a decision whether to list
the population as an endangered species by 6-23-02.
This coastal cutthroat trout
population was proposed as an endangered species on 4-5-99, but a final decision
on its fate was delayed first by an illegal federal moratorium on the listing
of endangered species, and then the general delay tactics of the Bush administration.
In a suit brought by the Center for Biological Diversity over an imperiled New
Mexico butterfly, the moratorium was struck down by a federal court on 7-31-01.
The administration agreed to issue a final rule on the cutthroat as part of
broad agreement to expedite the protection of 29 species nationwide. More information
on the historic agreement is available at:
For maps, species profiles
and other information on the agreement click
YOUR IDEAS. TELL US WHAT YOU THINK!
Please take a few moments
to click on the link below and complete our online membership survey today,
or mail the printable version by April 10th. Whether you work with Center projects
directly or prefer to support us from the sidelines, we value your ideas. Your
responses will help us shape policy, focus on issues that matter most to you,
and better communicate with our supporters about our work. Click