Subject: FW: SW BIODIVERSITY ALERT #99


Subject: SW BIODIVERSITY ALERT #99

      ******** SOUTHWEST BIODIVERSITY ALERT #98 ***********
       *                    10/24/97                     *
        *                                               *
         *  SOUTHWEST CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY  *
          *                                           *
           * silver city, tucson, phoenix, san diego *
            *****************************************

1.  NINETY GILA BASIN GRAZING ALLOTMENTS CHALLENGED
2.  SUIT SEEKS CRITICAL HABITAT FOR RARE OWL, AQUATIC PLANT

                            *******

*NINETY GILA BASIN GRAZING ALLOTMENTS CHALLENGED
The Southwest Center filed and Endangered Species Act suit on
October 23, 1997 against 90 grazing allotments on six National
Forests in the Gila and Little Colorado River Basins. Over the
past five years, the Center has filed petitions to list, upgrade
and designate critical habitat under the ESA for the Loach minnow,
Spikedace, Gila trout, Southwestern willow flycatcher, Cactus
ferruginous pygmy owl, Sonoran tiger salamander, Canelo Hills
ladies' tresses, and Huachuca water umbel. The protection of
these species and their habitats under the ESA required the Forest
Service to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over
the effects of its cattle allotments. The Forest Service, however,
has refused, bringing on the current lawsuit.

The protection of these species as well as the Razorback sucker,
Little Colorado River Spinedace, and Sonoran chub will require
removal of cattle from hundreds of miles of streams and the Gila,
Apache-Sitgreaves, Coronado, Tonto, Prescott and Coconino National
Forests.
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*SUIT SEEKS CRITICAL HABITAT FOR RARE OWL, AQUATIC PLANT
The Southwest Center filed suit on November 3, 1997 against the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failing to designate critical
habitat for the endangered Cactus ferruginous pygmy owl and the
Huachuca water umbel. The Service argued that designation
would further endanger them by alerting developers, bird watchers
and plant collectors to their presence. The Service, however, is not
required to reveal detailed site locations, only broad areas of
crucial habitat.

The pygmy owl, once common along southern Arizona washes
and streams, has declined to just nine birds: two in Organ Pipe
National Monument and seven in development ridden northwest
Tucson. The water umbel has been reduced to a handful of
locations on streams in the San Pedro Basin and northern Mexico


_____________________________________________________________________________

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