Subject: SW BIODIVERSITY ALERT #76
SOUTHWEST BIODIVERSITY ALERT #76
SOUTHWEST CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
silver city, tucson, phoenix, san diego
1. SUIT FILED TO DESIGNATE WILD & SCENIC RIVERS IN NEW MEXICO
2. SEVEN ARRESTED AT GRAND CANYON SALVAGE TIMBER SALE
3. MEDIA: CLINTON ADMINISTRATION TO BLAME FOR USFWS FAILURE TO
PROTECT 95 SPECIES
*** *** *** ***
SUIT FILED TO DESIGNATE WILD & SCENIC RIVERS IN NEW MEXICO
The Southwest Center for Biological Diversity filed suit today against
three New Mexico National Forests (Cibola, Lincoln, and Gila) for
failing to inventory and evaluate rivers for eligibility under the Wild
& Scenic Rivers Act. The Act requires that each Forest's Land
Management Plan identify and protect those rivers which are eligible
for designation as Wild, Scenic, or Recreational. Such rivers would be
protected from dam building, road encroachment, mining, and
logging. A recent court ruling in Oregon removed cattle from a river
designated under the Act because the cattle were degrading the values
for which the river was designated.
Enacted by Congress in 1968, the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act is
America's most sweeping river protection law. In creating the Act,
Congress announced that it was time to balance dam building and
construction projects with recreational and conservation needs. To
insure a proper balance, Congress mandated that rivers be inventoried
and evaluated for possible designation. Since 1968, over 10,500
miles, on 150 river segments throughout the country, have been
Though most western states have designated rivers, no New Mexico
rivers have yet been protected. The Southwest Center expects about
300 miles river to be eligible for protection: 75 miles on each of the
Cibola and Lincoln National Forest, and 150 miles on the Gila
National Forest. Some of the likely candidates include:
Lincoln National Forest- Sacramento River, Rio Penasco, Agua
Chiquita Creek, Blue Water Creek;
Gila National Forest- Gila River (West, East and Middle Forks),
Sapillo Creek, Mogollon Creek, White Water Creek, Trout Creek;
Cibola National Forest- Las Huertas Creek, Juan Tabo Creek, Caņon
Media, Water Canyon, Indian Creek, Lobo Creek.
___________ _____________ __________
SEVEN ARRESTED AT GRAND CANYON SALVAGE TIMBER SALE
Seven protestors were arrested today at the North Kaibab Ranger
District office. Five protestors locked their neck together with
kryptonite bicycle locks inside the office, while two others scale the
building and hung a "Stop Clearcutting!" banner from the roof. Forty
others protested outside the building.
The protesters opposed the Bridger Salvage Timber Sale on the
Kaibab National Forest which is scheduled to log 11 million board
feet of ponderosa pine on 2,700 acres. The sale is within the Grand
Canyon Game Reserve and within 200 of the National Park
boundary. The sale was appealed by the Southwest Center with
interventions by the Grand Canyon Sierra Club and Los Angeles
Though the protesters were peaceful and non-violent, police used
"pain compliance" tactics to remove one of the roof protestors and
sprayed lysol in the face of one of the building occupiers, causing an
________ __________ __________
MEDIA: CLINTON ADMINISTRATION TO BLAME FOR USFWS FAILURE TO PROTECT
>From an article in the Albuquerque Journal, May 17,1997:
Group May Sue Over Endangered List
Protection Sought For Species in West
TUCSON - Environmentalists plan to sue a federal agency unless it
decides to list 95 species of plants and animals as endangered in the
The Southwest Center for Biological Diversity, a Tucson-based
organization, notified Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt and John
Rogers, acting director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, of its
intent to sue if the Service does not act on its own proposals within 60
The Endangered Species Act gives the agency 12 months to withdraw
or finalize its listing once it has been proposed, said Peter Galvin,
conservation biologist for the Southwest Center.
"In these 95 instances, neither has occurred; for up to five years in
the case of the Peninsular Ranges' bighorn sheep," a species found in
Three of the species are found in Arizona - the flat-tailed horned
lizard, the Parish's Alkali grass, and the San Xavier Talussnail.
Another 86 are found in California, most of them flowering plants,
including the Laguna Beach liveforever.
The rest of the species are scattered in Texas, New Mexico, Utah,
Oregon, Washington, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas.
They do not include the jaguar, which already has been the subject of
separate litigation the Center filed against the Fish and Wildlife
earlier this year. The group wants the government to decide whether
to list jaguars as an endangered species.
On March 20 a federal judge in Phoenix gave Fish and Wildlife
officials 120 days to make final the endangered species listing for the
jaguar and critical habitat designation for four other species already
listed as endangered....
Jeff Humphrey, a Fish and Wildlife spokesman in
Phoenix...acknowledged that a number of backlogged species await
"But there was a one-year moratorium on listing of endangered
species of and designating critical habitats. We came out of that a
year ago and have never been fully funded by Congress to catch up to
address that backlog."
Galvin said that response won't wash. "How much money does it take
to print something in the Federal Register?" he asked. "They've
already proposed them" for endangered status.
He said the agency is able to issue biological opinions in a timely
manner that enable more destruction of wildlife habitat, yet it doesn't
seem to have time to devote to listing endangered species.
"The larger picture is that the Clinton administration does not have a
strong commitment to wildlife protection. This is as much suing the
Clinton administration as the Fish and Wildlife Service, because
they're the ones telling Jeff Humphrey what to do."
The Southwest Center has filed more than a half-dozen lawsuits in
environmental-related cases this year, but the jaguar case is the only
one with an outcome. It has no legal staff of its own, relying on
services donated by sympathetic attorneys.
Galvin said the lack of action by Fish and Wildlife officials is
"certainly worse in the West. What we're seeing all across America in
animals and plants is a biological meltdown."
"The reason we're doing this is because a lot of these species aren't
the ones that get a lot of attention; they're sort of the backbone or
unsung heroes of the ecosystem, these plants and fish and reptiles."
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