Subject: FW: SOUTHWEST BIODIVERSITY ALERT #83

Subject: SOUTHWEST BIODIVERSITY ALERT #83

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              SOUTHWEST BIODIVERSITY ALERT #83
                           7/17/97          

          SOUTHWEST CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
           silver city, tucson, phoenix, san diego
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1. USFWS REJECTS CONSERVATION PLAN, LISTS JAGUAR AS ENDANGERED-
   SUPPORTERS THRONG FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE OFFICE

2. SOUTHWEST CENTER THREATENS SUIT OVER BOGUS FOREST SERVICE GRAZING
   PLAN- WARNS USFWS THAT JEOPARDY CONCLUSION MUST NOT BE WATERED DOWN

3. FOREST SERVICE IGNORES LOGGING INJUNCTION ON NORTH RIM OF GRAND
   CANYON- SUIT IMMANENT

     *****    *****     *****    *****

USFWS REJECTS CONSERVATION PLAN, LISTS JAGUAR AS ENDANGERED-
SUPPORTERS THRONG FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE OFFICE

35 protesters in jaguar masks gathered outside the Phoenix office
of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service yesterday morning to protest
delays in protection for the imperiled cat. They offered agency
bureaucrats a 10 foot wide pair of jaguar eyeglasses and all the
carrots they could eat, to help with the agency's chronic
"oversight" problem. In 1979 the agency admitted that through an
"oversight" it failed to list the jaguar as endangered in the U.S. (it
is listed in Mexico and South America). Twenty years, and two
lawsuits later, the agency had still not listed the magnificent cat
under the ESA.

In the midst of the demonstration, the first every at the Phoenix
office, Fish and Wildlife Service personnel scrambled to contact
the Washington, D.C. for advise. In a closed door session, the
office director announced that on Friday, July 17, 1997, the jaguar
will be listed as endangered in Arizona and New Mexico, and as
threatened in Texas. Apparently no listing will be proposed for
California or Louisiana. Critical habitat will not be designated.

In 1994, the Southwest Center won a lawsuit requiring the agency
to propose the jaguar as endangered. The agency did nothing to
finalize the proposal until the Southwest Center won a second
lawsuit in 1997 requiring a final decision. The agency then
scrambled to put together a last minute, highly controversial
"conservation agreement" explicitly designed to take the place of
protection under the ESA.  The final decision not to accept the
conservation plan as a substitute for the ESA, was prompted by
widespread opposition to the plan and intense litigation pressure.
     _____    _____     _____     _____

SOUTHWEST CENTER THREATENS SUIT OVER BOGUS FOREST SERVICE GRAZING
PLAN- WARNS USFWS THAT JEOPARDY CONCLUSION MUST NOT BE WATERED DOWN

The Southwest Center has warned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service that it will be sued if it backs down on draft opinion that
the Southwest's eleven National Forest Plans jeopardize seven
threatened and endangered species with extinction. The Fish and
Wildlife Service is currently reviewing a new Forest Service
management plan designed to alleviate the jeopardy decision.

In 1995, the Southwest Center gave official notice that it would
sue the Forest Service for not consulting on the effects of the
eleven Southwest National Forest Plans on 61 threatened and
endangered species. That same year, a lawsuit suit brought by the
Southwest Center, Forest Guardians and others shut down all
logging until the agency consulted on the effects of their Forest
Plans on the threatened Mexican spotted owl.  Owl related
negotiations resulted in the Center delaying the suit on the 61
other species. To avoid the impending suit, the Forest Service
"voluntarily" initiated the larger consultation.

The Fish and Wildlife Service has issued a draft biological opinion
which concludes that the Forest Plans, primarily through
overgrazing, jeopardize the existence of the southwestern willow
flycatcher, cactus ferruginous pygmy owl, loach minnow,
spikedace, Sonoran chub, Little Colorado River spinedace, and
pima pineapple cactus. Between 1991 and 1995, the Center
petitioned to list the flycatcher, pygmy owl, loach minnow, and
spikedace as endangered.

Rightfully fearing that a jeopardy conclusion will eliminate grazing
from many rivers and reduce levels throughout the region, the
Forest Service has -concocted the "Seven Species Project" - a plan
which supposedly removes jeopardy. Absurdly, the plan tries to
shift blame from cattle grazing to elk and garbage. It removes
cattle from only a handful of acres, while establishing more
research programs, best management practices, public education,
etc., etc., etc.
     _____     _____     _____     _____

FOREST SERVICE IGNORES LOGGING INJUNCTION ON NORTH RIM OF GRAND
CANYON- SUIT IMMANENT

In the summer of 1996, the Bridgers Knoll fire burned 53,000
acres on the North Kaibab Ranger District of the Kaibab National
Forest.  Before the fire was even extinguished, Forest Service
officials were already plotting the Southwest's largest timber sale
in 20 years.  Shielded from bothersome democratic processes by
the infamous Salvage Rider, the Forest Service proposed five
separate sales which would have logged up to 35 million board
feet of
ponderosa pine on 4,600 acres. Three of these sales, totaling 6
million board feet, were offered under the Salvage Rider and have
been cut.  Due to bureaucratic oversight, the remaining two sales,
Bridger #3 and #5, were not offered before the Rider expired and
are thus subject to environmental laws.  These sales, if completed,
will result in 11 million  additional board feet of ponderosa being
cut on 2700 acres.

On May 30, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for the second time
enjoined Southwestern timber sales due to Forest Service failure to
protect the endangered Mexican Spotted Owl.  Under this injunction,
the Forest Service may not proceed with any sales that
do not meet every standard and guideline of the applicable Forest
Plan.  The Kaibab Forest Plan states that at least 3 to 5
adjacent large trees per acre must be left in every timber operation.
Bridger Sales #3 and #5 fail to do this.  Forest Service
justification? Leaving reserve trees in salvage sales is "not
appropriate."  The Forest Service was able to get away with this
sort of flagrant dismissal of the law under the Salvage Rider, but it
no longer has any excuse other than its own arrogance.
Furthermore, this action is not only illegal, it is bad science.
Research has shown that leaving reserve trees and snags in logging
operations is essential to wildlife needs.

The legacy and continuing impact of Stone Container on the
Southwest cannot be overestimated.  This impact is certainly not
confined to this region, however.  Stone has been cited for
environmental regulatory violations at operations in Snowflake,
AZ, Panama City, FL, Port Wentworth, GA, Ontonagon, MI,
Missoula, MT and Coshocton, OH.  Stone's toxic releases
are nearly three times the Forest Products industry average. 
Like most trans-nationals, Stone's treatment of its workers is
on par with its treatment of the environment.  Stone paid $167,000
in OSHA violations from 1986 to 1991.  12 of these violations were
characterized as "willful." In 1990, Stone had 5.8 billion in sales
revenues, an 8% increase from 1989.  According to Fortune, it is
the 92d largest industrial company in the U.S., and is the 5th
largest in the Forest Products industry.

The Southwest Center is preparing an emergency injunction request
to prevent Bridger from being cut.  In the meantime, we need a
flood of calls to both the Kaibab National Forest Supervisor's office
as well as the North Kaibab Ranger District.  Tell them:

no logging on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon;
their ideas of 'forest health' have left us a legacy of stumps and cowpies;

  Kaibab National Forest:  (520) 635-8200.  Conny Frisch, Forest Supervisor
  North Kaibab Ranger District:  (520) 643-7395


_____________________________________________________________________________

Kieran Suckling                               ksuckling@sw-center.org
Executive Director                            520.623.5252 phone
Southwest Center for Biological Diversity     520.623.9797 fax
http://www.envirolink.org/orgs/sw-center      pob 710, tucson, az 85702-710