Subject: SW BIODIVERSITY ALERT
SOUTHWEST BIODIVERSITY ALERT #89
SOUTHWEST CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
silver city, tucson, phoenix, san diego
1. THREE TIMBER SALES, ONE ROAD APPEALED
2. MEDIA: CENTER TO SUE TO STOP LOW LEVEL FLIGHTS OF GERMAN AIR
FORCE OVER THE GILA WILDERNESS
3. CENTER TO SUE OVER DAM/DIVERSION IMPACTS TO SEA OF CORTEZ AND
COLORADO RIVER DELTA
4. FOREST SERVICE RESISTING CLINTON ATTEMPT TO REIGN IN RIGHT-OF-WAY
LOOPHOLE ON NATIONAL FOREST
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THREE TIMBER SALES, ONE ROAD APPEALED
The Southwest Center for Biological Diversity has appealed three
timber sales and one road construction project. The 7 million
board foot, 2,300 acre, Elk Lee Timber Sale on the Kaibab
National Forest is on the headwall of Sycamore Canyon and near
to the Sycamore Creek Wilderness Area. Though supposedly
recreating "pre-settlement conditions" it will take out many old
growth ponderosa pine trees to "control" mistletoe. The sale
violates Forest Plan requirements to project environmental effects
5, 20, and 40 years following logging.
The Beacon Timber Sale, on the Kaibab National Forest, would
log 3 million board feet on over 1,000 acres. It too slates old
growth pines for the saw based on mistletoe control and fails to
project long-term effects.
The Lily Timber Sale on the Gila National Forest in Catron County
would log 1.1 million board feet, causing further sedimentation in
the cowburnt San Francisco River. It violates a 1992 Forest Plan
amendment which limited the sale to 200,000 board feet.
Following failed mandatory negotiations, the Gila National Forest
is apparently backtracking on sale, claiming it will cut only 100
trees over 16" dbh.
The Center has appealed the construction of one mile of new road
on the Santa Rita Ranger District of the Coronado National
Forest. Rather than asserting its right-of-way through an inholding,
the Forest Service is building a new road around it, setting a
dangerous precedent that could result in thousands of miles of new
road construction on National Forests throughout the West.
WRITE NOW! Letters generated from previous Biodiversity
Alerts are definately having an effect on the Kaibab National
Forest, forcing them to begin developing a "yellow pine policy
statement." Tell the Kaibab to stop cutting old growth ponderosa
pines in the name of mistletoe control!
Connie Fritsch, Kaibab Forest Supervisor, 520.635.8200
800 S. 6th Street, Williams, AZ 86046
_____ _____ _____ _____ _____
MEDIA: CENTER TO SUE TO STOP LOW LEVEL FLIGHTS OF GERMAN AIR FORCE
OVER THE GILA WILDERNESS
Center Opposes Plan to Expand Holloman
Albuquerque Journal, August 6, 1997
"The Southwest Center for Biological Diversity has threatened to
take the Air Force to court if it continues with a proposed
expansion of Holloman Air Force Base near Alamogordo."
A bombing range and low-level flight paths are part of the
proposal, which the Air Force is says is necessary to support an
expansion of the German Air Force operation at Holloman.
'We're definately going to take the military to court if they
proceed,' said Peter Galvin, a conservation biologist at the Center.
The Center is challenging an environmental impact statement
done by Air Combat Command headquarters in Virginia that
concludes the expansion will cause no significant environmental
Galvin said the low-level flights will impact wildernes areas in the
Gila National Forest as well as a wilderness study area north of the
proposed bombing range."
_____ _____ _____ _____ _____
CENTER TO SUE OVER DAM/DIVERSION IMPACTS TO SEA OF CORTEZ AND COLORADO
The Southwest Center has given official notice to the Bureau of
Reclamation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National
Marine Fisheries Service that it will sue, if necessary, to ensure
that the Bureau considers the impacts of its Colorado River dams
and water diversions on the Colorado River Delta and Sea of
Cortez. The Totoaba, a large marine predator, and the Vaquita, a
small porpoise, are threatened by lack of fresh water flowing
across the U.S./Mexico border to the delta. In some years, no
water at all reaches to the sea.
_____ _____ _____ _____
FOREST SERVICE RESISTING CLINTON ATTEMPT TO REIGN IN RIGHT-OF-WAY
LOOPHOLE ON NATIONAL FOREST
In 1866, Congress passed R.S. 2477 granting rights-of-way for the
"construction of highways over public lands" not reserved for
other uses. County commissioners, the motorized vehicle lobby,
and their Congressional allies have seized on R.S. 2477 as a tool to
punch motorized trails through potential and existing wilderness
and to hog-tie federal agencies attempting to manage trails to
protect water quality, wildlife, and peace and quiet. President
Clinton earlier this year killed a Congressional proposal to
interpret the law so broadly that it could have allowed counties to
pave new roads across National Parks and other public lands.
The Administration is being stymied by the Forest Service,
however, in its attempt to draft legislation to set fair rules for
determining when "public highways" were actually "constructed."
they've hit a roadblock: the US Forest Service. The Forest Service
is pushing a policy that would permit counties to claim a highway
had been constructed where someone had kicked rocks or
trampled weeds on a trail. The Forest Service's proposal is even
worse that the Reagan Administration's "Hodel Policy" making it
even easier to surrender trails to counties.
This May, the Rio Grande National Forest in southern Colorado
"validated" a county right-of-way under RS 2477 to a jeep trail,
part of which the Forest had closed to motorized use 18 months
ago to protect alpine tundra and lakes! Based only on a few maps
and surveys presented by motorized vehicle lobbyists, the Forest
surrendered management of the trail to Alamosa County without
public involvement or notification. The Forest plans surrender up
to 65 more roads and trails to other counties- several within the
Sangre de Cristo Wilderness.
THE SOLUTION: A MORATORIUM ON R.S. 2477 CLAIMS.
The Forest Service trail give-away must end. And the best way to
do it is to get the Forest Service to do what the Department of the
Interior has already done: stop processing all R.S. 2477
right-of-way claims until the Clinton Administration adopts a
reasonable, uniform policy. Defining "construction" to mean trampling
weeds and kicking rocks out of the way just isn't
WRITE NOW! Write Mr. Michael Dombeck, Chief, USDA
Forest Service, 14th & Independence Avenue S.W., Washington,
D.C. 20250, FAX: 202/205-1765. Tell him to: (1) immediately
impose a moratorium on processing R.S. 2477 claims; (2) junk the
Hodel Policy and adopt stricter standards, like the ones he
approved when he was BLM Director.
For more information, contact:
Ted Zukoski, LAW Fund <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Heidi McIntosh, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance <Heidi@suwa.org>
Kieran Suckling email@example.com
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