Subject: FW: SW BIODIVERSITY ALERT #49


Subject: SW BIODIVERSITY ALERT #49

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           SOUTHWEST BIODIVERSITY ALERT #48            
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       SOUTHWEST CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY       
                ksuckling@sw-center.org                
           www.envirolink.org/orgs/sw-center           
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1. BELOW COST BLM LAND SALE BLOCKED

2. ARIZONANS OPPOSE FRAUDULENT PLAN TO KEEP JAGUAR OFF ENDANGERED
   SPECIES LIST

3. ARIZONA BUSINESS MAGAZINE NAMES THE SOUTHWEST CENTER
   "WHO TO WATCH IN 1997"

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1.  BELOW COST BLM LAND SALE BLOCKED

The BLM has ruled in favor of a Southwest Center protest against
the sale of 460 acres of public land to mining giant Phelps Dodge.
The land would have been sold for $500/acre even though the
market rate is $3,000 acre- a loss of $1,150,000 to the government.
The land would be sold with no competitive bidding.

The sale would allow  Phelps Dodge to reopen and expand its
Lavender Copper Mine which has been closed since the 1970s. The
BLM, however, refuses to acknowledge the relationship between the
land sale and reopening of the mine, it also refuses to acknowledge
the effects of opening the mine on the Bisbee which has developed a
thriving tourist economy since the 1970s. The land to be sold is only
1.5 miles from downtown.

According to the ruling, the BLMs revision to its Resource
Management Plan which allowed the sale is illegal and will have to
be redone. The Southwest Center's simultaneous appeal of the
environmental effects of the land sale is still being considered.


2.  ARIZONANS OPPOSE FRAUDULENT PLAN TO KEEP JAGUAR OFF ENDANGERED
    SPECIES LIST

100 people turned out on February 5th at a Tucson public meeting to
discuss a proposed AZ and NM conservation plan for the imperiled
Jaguar. The meeting was scheduled at the request of the Southwest
Center which protested the fact that earlier meeting were all held in
towns dominated by cattle interests. The vast majority those attending were in support of listing the Jaguar as and Endangered
species.

The jaguar was proposed for listing as Endangered in 1994 due to a
lawsuit by the Southwest Center. It is currently the subject of another
suit by the Center to finalize its status. Though the Jaguar is listed
under the Endangered Species Act south of the border, is was
"accidentally" not listed in the U.S. according to the Fish and
Wildlife Service. It has since become complete extirpated from
southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana.

To head off the final listing of North America's largest cat, the states
of AZ and NM have proposed a conservation agreement which
would supposedly protect the jaguar. Unfortunately, the conservation
agreement contains no enforceable regulations, no habitat protection,
and no hunting restrictions. It is merely a list of study
recommendations, panels, and other promises. The Southwest Center
and the Biodiversity Legal Foundation won two lawsuits in 1996
establishing that the Fish and Wildlife Service can only consider
actual conservation plans when deciding whether to list species
under the ESA, it can not consider mere promises.

3.  ARIZONA BUSINESS MAGAZINE NAMES THE SOUTHWEST CENTER
    "WHO TO WATCH IN 1997"

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ARIZONA BUSINESS MAGAZINE NAMES THE
SOUTHWEST CENTER "WHO TO WATCH IN 1997"

>From Arizona Business Magazine, Jan/Feb 1997

  With great care Arizona Business Magazine has compiled its list of
who to watch in 1997. These are people and organizations we expect
to accomplish a lofty feat or overcome a substantial challenge in
the coming year. We anticipate that the actions of the people and
organizations of this list will not only make headline news in 1997,
but will have a direct impact on the lives of the people of
Arizona...They are people who will undoubtably influence the
political, economical or social fabric of Arizona. ...
  ...

 Throughout the years a number of laws have been established intended
to protect the environment - the Clear Air Act, the Clean Water Act,
the Endangered Species Act. But the U.S. Government hasn't been as
effective in enforcing those laws as in creating them. Enter the
Southwest Center for Biological Diversity, a Tucson-based
environmental activist group formed in 1990. This group has made it
their mission to see that the government enforces its laws."
  "A lot of the environmental laws, in one way or another, come down to
saying the Forest Service and the BLM must use the best science. And
so it's up to us to prove that they're not. And to prove that *we*
are using the best science," says Kieran Suckling, executive director
and one of the group's founders. "It's really not that hard to make a
case, once you figure it out."
  Suckling and his group do seem to have figured it out. Their approach
is science-based activism, in which they present so much conclusive
environmental data the courts have no choice but to rule in their
favor...they've filed petitions to list more than 20 species of
plants and animals as threatened or endangered under the Endangered
Species Act and have filed about 50 lawsuits against various federal
agencies. And they've won some major battles, which have resulted in
a one year injunction that halts all logging in national forests
until the Forest Service completes a comprehensive study determining
the environmental impact of such activity.
  ...
  Developments such as [the Salvage Rider] are guiding Suckling's group
down a more political path in 1997. They realize that, in addition to
providing proof, they must develop political muscle. During the past
few years, the group has focused more on bringing large numbers of
people together to create a real political force. For example, its
membership has increased in the last two years from 200 to 3,000.
They have canvassers going door to door in Tucson and Flagstaff
preaching their doctrine and they have a direct mail campaign in
progress. this year the group plans to start a 501c4 organization that will
allow them to do political lobbying and advocacy.
  "That's really a crucial realm if we're going to preserve our laws
and preserve the forests and rivers," says Suckling. "We need to be
able to exert political pressure. Specifically, we're going to really
be going after (Republican congressmen) J.D. Hayworth, Jon Kyl, and
John Shadegg, because those are the three in Arizona that are really
way out there. I mean these guys are far right of Gingrich and are
really pushing for some crazy stuff."