Subject: SW BIODIVERSITY ALERT #75
SOUTHWEST BIODIVERSITY ALERT #75
SOUTHWEST CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
silver city, tucson, phoenix, san diego
1. EDITORIAL BLASTS DENIAL OF "UNLOGGING" PETITION
2. RUCKUS SOCIETY TO PROTEST BRIDGER SALVAGE SALE- FOREST SERVICE
3. SOUTHWEST CENTER, UNITED STEEL WORKERS, SAN CARLOS APACHES PROTEST
PHELPS DODGE SHAREHOLDERS MEETING
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EDITORIAL BLASTS DENIAL OF "UNLOGGING" PETITION
The following editorial appeared after the Secretary of Agriculture
rejected our petition to allow environmental groups to buy timber
sales, but before Jim Lyons announced that the rejection was a
Arizona Daily Star
March 17, 1997
Editorial: Keeping the forests shut
Not surprisingly, the U.S. Department of Agriculture - parent of the
Forest Service - has rejected the Southwest Center for Biological
Diversity's smart request that it allow conservation groups to buy
That is too bad, for the Tucson-based Center proposed boldly and
well this year when it asked to allow high-bidding environmental
groups to purchase trees in order to leave them standing.
Currently the Forest Service designates only logging outfits
"responsible bidders" on tree sales.
As a result, a biased system has at once excluded potentially less
destructive resource uses and generated less revenue for the taxpayer
than it might.
However in February the Southwest Center - along with the
Northwest Ecosystem Alliance of Washington state and the Oregon
Natural Resources Council - formally asked the Secretary of
Agriculture to change all that.
Then the Center suggests the Forest Service award most sales -
except those offered for specific ecological reasons - to the highest
bidder, "regardless of whether that bidder has any intention of
harvesting" the trees.
In doing so, the group floated a simple idea that nevertheless felt
revolutionary given the extraction-oriented, market-averse
mechanisms of the bureaucracy that for 60 years has managed the
West's trees. A "yes" to the petition would have represented a
gratifying embrace of fairness, green uses and free markets during the
centennial year of the forest system
Only it was not to be. In a Monday letter, USDA Undersecretary for
resources and the environment, Jim Lyons, pronounced the plan
"interesting and novel" but not "feasible" before descending into a
miasma of typically incomprehensible bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo.
The upshot: Taxpayers will have to wait until another year to see the
federal forests managed fairly, greenly, and for maximum profit
rather than solely for timber cutters.
In the meantime, the Southwest Center deserves credit for raising a
great idea that will not go away - either at the federal level, or on
the huge grazing domains of the states. Such imaginative free-market
thinking cannot in the long run fail to move land uses in greener
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RUCKUS SOCIETY TO PROTEST BRIDGER SALVAGE SALE- FOREST SERVICE CLOSES ROADS
In anticipation of further protests against the Bridger Salvage Timber Sale
on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The Kaibab National Forest has
officially closed all roads into the sale area to the public. Eight protesters
were arrested at the Grand Canyon National Park several months ago.
The following article appeared in the Tucson Citizen
Ruckus Society teaches to make a point peacefully
by Ronda Bodfield
May 17, 1997
Ever wonder how to get arrested peacefully to further an
Today, several environmental groups will converge on the North
Rim of the Grand Canyon to learn about non-violent civil
disobedience in a four-day training camp sponsored by the Montana-
based Ruckus Society.
The organization trains people on direct action techniques geared at
saving wilderness areas.
For example, one might climb a tree threatened with being cut, and
bring sufficient water, food and other necessities to stay there for as
long as it takes to make a point.
Or one might learn "urban climbing techniques" to get to the top of
buildings to drop huge banners.
There will be a segment on blockade design to turn back logging
One might be chained to a gate, while another technique may be to
cement oneself in a ditch so only the head and shoulders are visible
The students may even get to put some of their new knowledge to
Part of the reason the North Rim site was selected was because of an
ongoing timber salvage sale. The [Bridger Salvage] sale ultimately
will leave two or three trees standing per acre on 3,500 acres within
200 feet of the Grand Canyon National Park's boundary.
The Fores Service maintained it is the only way to restore health to
the area after a June fire ravaged about 53,000 acres in 1996.
But some environmental groups contend it will be ugly, could end
up destroying trees that have a chance of survival and could reduce
habitat by taking down snags. Snags are dead but standing trees.
Michael Robinson, a spokesperson for the Southwest Center for Biological
Diversity, said the group will tour the salvage area and
then determine whether to stage a peaceful protest.
Robinson and Ruckus members view the Grand Canyon area as
"one of the worst" timber sale in the Southwest.
The Southwest Center, which pursues its causes through litigation
and is considered one of the more aggressive environmental
organizations, contributed money for the cause.
A few hundred people are expected to attend, Robinson said.
Other attending groups could include Earth First!, Colorado-based
Ancient Forest Rescue and the California-based Action Resource
Earth First! stage several such protests in attempts to shut down the
University of Arizona's Mount Graham telescope project. But it also
cast a radical hue on environmental protests after some key members
were arrested for sabotaging ski lifts and powerlines around the state.
Robinson said non-violence will be stressed.
"Its all about protecting other living beings, the forest and the
goshawks, and there's no point in trying to do that while sending any
message that human beings aren't fully valued."
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SOUTHWEST CENTER, UNITED STEEL WORKERS, SAN CARLOS APACHES PROTEST
PHELPS DODGE SHAREHOLDERS MEETING
The Southwest Center and the United Steel Workers protested the
annual Phelps Dodge shareholder's meeting in Phoenix a the Biltmore
Hotel. The Center, attending the meeting with 800 proxy shares,
staged a vote to oppose the expansion of Phelps Dodge's board
until the corporation stops polluting the Silver City municipal
water supply with its Tyrone Mine. It was outvoted 200,000 to
53,800,000. Douglas Yearly, Chairman & CEO, threatened to have
Southwest Center conservation biologist Peter Galvin removed from
the meeting because of his frequent explanations of Phelps Dodge's
The Steel Workers protested the lack of contracts for 500 employees
at the Chino Mine. The San Carlos Apaches protested Phelps Dodge use
of a pipeline across their nation to supply the Morenci Mine. Phelps
Dodge pays the tribe $20/month for the pipeline which is estimated
to be worth $20,000 a month. The San Carlos Apaches have also filed
a complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commision, charging
that Phelps Dodge decieved its shareholders by not revealing it was
being sued by the tribe. Phelps Dodge also failed to inform its share
holders of a lawsuit by the Southwest Center challenging the origin
of the pipeline at Blue Ridge Dam.
Kieran Suckling email@example.com
Executive Director 520.733.1391 phone
Southwest Center for Biological Diversity 520.733.1404 fax
http://www.envirolink.org/orgs/sw-center pob 17839, tucson, az 85731