GOOD NEWS FOR TROUT AND ROADLESS AREAS

An 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- ARIZONA TIMBER SALE WITHDRAWN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 may result.

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 Rivers Council.

Visit the Western Native Trout Campaign.


CALIFORNIA 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appeal by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Ventana Wilderness Alliance, the Los Padres National Forest has withdrawn its decision to increase livestock grazing on eight federal grazing allotments along the Big Sur coast in California.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.


MONTANA 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.


ARIZONA 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...


NEW MEXICO 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).


WASHINGTON 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 here...


WANTED: 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 here...


Become a member of the Center for Biological Diversity, and ensure a future for wildlife and habitat.