Subject: FW: SW BIODIVERSITY ALERT #56

Subject: SW BIODIVERSITY ALERT #56

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           SOUTHWEST BIODIVERSITY ALERT #56
                                            3/18/97          

         SOUTHWEST CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
                       silver city, tucson, phoenix, san diego
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1. WISE USERS LOSE BID TO DELIST THE THREATENED MEXICAN SPOTTED OWL

2. E.P.A. REFUSES NAFTA ORDER TO REVIEW DEWATERING OF SAN PEDRO RIVER
    BY U.S. ARMY

3. MEXICAN GRAY WOLF TO RETURN TO GILA HEADWATERS ECOSYSTEM

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WISE USERS LOSE BID TO DELIST THE THREATENED MEXICAN SPOTTED OWL
  A federal judge has ruled against the "Coalition of Arizona/New
Mexico Counties for Stable Economic Growth" in their bid to
delist the threatened Mexican spotted owl from the Endangered
Species Act. The Coalition argued that the Fish and Wildlife
Service made procedural and substantial errors in denying their
petition to delist the owl. The Southwest Center, represented by
Earthlaw, intervened in the case, arguing that the Coalition of
Counties lacked standing to bring the suit. While the counties
claimed the listing had caused loss of jobs, loss of Forest Service
payments, and increased beetle and disease infestation, they were
not able to provide any documentation of their claims. The judge
agreed with the SW Center, throwing the case out for lack of
standing.

Special thanks to Earthlaw which has represented the SW Center
and many other groups pro bono throughout the Mexican spotted
owl wars, winning 4.8 million acres of critical habitat, a 16 month
logging injunction on eleven National Forests, and now fighting
off the wise users.

E.P.A. REFUSES NAFTA ORDER TO REVIEW DEWATERING OF SAN PEDRO RIVER
BY U.S. ARMY
  Several months ago, the NAFTA Secretariat on the Environment
ordered the E.P.A. to respond to SW Center charges that the U.S.
Army violated American environmental laws by allowing Fort
Huachuca to dewater the San Pedro River without performing a
NEPA analysis. The first such ruling ever under NAFTA, this was
a test case to see if the treaty actually has any environmental teeth
and whether member nations will take it seriously. The EPA's
response is a resounding "NO" to both.

Rather than study the well documented effects of Fort Huachuca on
the San Pedro River, the E.P.A. argues that the military is allowed
to violate NEPA since Congress placed a special statue of limitations
shielding the base from citizen lawsuits. Since citizens are limited
in their ability to sue, the EPA argues, there must be no violation of
law!

The SW Center was represented by Earthlaw in the NAFTA petition
and two previous lawsuits against Fort Huachuca.


MEXICAN GRAY WOLF TO RETURN TO GILA HEADWATERS ECOSYSTEM
  Bruce Babbitt, Secretary of Interior, has signed a Record of
Decision authorizing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to
reintroduce at least 3 pairs of endangered Mexican gray wolves
into the Gila Headwaters Ecosystem of southwest New Mexico
and southeast Arizona. The US Fish and Wildlife Service hopes to
have at least 100 wolves in a self-sustaining wild population in the
area within the next decade. Unfortunately, the FWS has bowed to
political pressure, once again designating the wolves
"experimental non-essential" which makes the wolves in captivity
the "essential" population.

_______________________________________________________________________________
Kieran Suckling                                       ksuckling@sw-center.org
Executive Director                                    phone:  520-733-1391
Southwest Center for Biological Diversity        fax:    520-733-1404
POB 17839, Tucson, AZ 85731                      www.envirolink.org/orgs/sw-center