Subject: FW: SW BIODIVERSITY ALERT #37

Subject: SW BIODIVERSITY ALERT #37

* ************* Southwest Biodiversity Alert #37 *****************
*        *****                 *****               *****         *   
*                               ***                              *
*                                *                               *
*            southwest center for biological diversity           *
*                      ksuckling@sw-center.org                   *
*             http://www.envirolink.org/orgs/sw-center           *
******************************************************************   

1. FOUR COASTAL CALIFORNIA PLANTS LISTED AS ENDANGERED

2. JUDGE OVERTURNS DECISION NOT TO LIST WOLF AS ENDANGERED

3. COMMENTS NEEDED ON THREE SALVAGE TIMBER SALES

 ***   ***   ***

1. FOUR COASTAL CALIFORNIA PLANTS LISTED AS ENDANGERED

In response to petitions and a lawsuit by the Southwest Center, the
U.S Fish and Wildlife Service has issued a decision to list four
southern California plants as endangered, but denied listing to two
others.  All six plants are limited to the remaining 2,500 acres of
southern  maritime chaparral habitat between northern San Diego
County and southern Orange County.  Much of this acreage is extremely
fragmented- the two  largest patches are no more than 600 acres each.

The big-leaved crown beard, Del Mar Manzanita, Del Mar sand aster,
Encinitas baccharis, Orcutt's spineflower, and short-leaved dudleya
are primarily threatened by developers.  The sand aster was denied
listing because of taxonomic uncertainty. The dudleya was denied
listing because the Service claims it will be protected under the
soon to be released San Diego County Multi-Species Conservation Plan.
The Service has recently lost two lawsuits (see below) for denying
listings based on future plans, because the ESA clearly states
listing decisions must be based on *existing* plans only. The
Southwest Center will soon be filing suit.

The short-leaved dudlaya has been reduced to only 5 location along a
highly developed ten mile stretch of coastline. Fewer than twenty
individual Orcutt's chorizanthe plants remain at one location.


2.  JUDGE OVERTURNS DECISION NOT TO LIST WOLF AS ENDANGERED

In response to lawsuit by the Biodiversity Legal Foundation (BLF)
and the Southwest Center, a federal court has overturned a decision
by the Fish and Wildlife Service not to propose the Alexander
Archipelago Wolf as endangered.  In his ruling, Judge Sporkin
concluded that the Service could not rely on a promise by the Tongass
National Forest to adequately protect the wolf in a long promised
revision to its Forest Plan.  Cutting through the Service's bizarre
argument that the wolf will be endangered in the future but is not
now, Sporkin declared : "If, with the continuation of current
circumstances, the wolf will be 'endangered' in the future, it is
clearly 'threatened' today."

Last month, in response to a suit by the Southwest Center and BLF,
Sporkin overturned an identical Fish and Wildlife Service decision
not to propose the Queen Charlotte goshawk as an endangered species.
The two old growth rainforest species are critical players in the
ongoing revision of the Tongass National Forest Land Management Plan.


3.  COMMENTS NEEDED ON THREE SALVAGE TIMBER SALES

The Peaks Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest is
proposing three salvage timbers sales totalling 6.28 million board
feet from the 25,000 acre Horseshoe and Hochderffer Fires. The sales
will be exempt from appeal and evironmental laws under the Logging
Without Laws salvage rider.

The Saddle salvage sale is slated for 2.98 million board feet, the
Kendrick salvage sale 1.9 million, and the Toe salvage sale  1.4
million. Contrary to many studies indicating ponderosa pines can
survive up to 80% crown scorch, the Forest claims trees with 50%
crown scorch will die and thus qualify for logging under the salvage
rider. Many of the largest live tree will be cut under this
definition.

Comments will be accepted until October 25th:

     Alvin Brown, Peaks Ranger District
     5075 N. Highway 89, Flagstaff, AZ 86004
     ph: (520)526-0866 fx: (520)527-8288