Subject: FW: Biodiversity Alert

Subject: Biodiversity Alert

Grazing in Watershed Sucking Up Taxpayer Dollars

On Thursday, February 22, the Southwest Center for Biological
Diversity appealed authorization of Allotment Management Plans
(AMP's) for five grazing allotments on the Tonto National Forest in
the Eastern Roosevelt Lake Watershed Analysis Area (ERLWAA).  The
AMP's would allow further degradation of riparian areas within the
Roosevelt Lake watershed and would destroy habitat for the
Endangered Southwest willow flycatcher and razorback sucker. The
Environmental Assessment for these AMP's failed to analyze
cumulative impacts of past, present and reasonably foreseeable
future actions on the allotments and failed to provide an economic
analysis of the proposed action.  Recently, the Bureau of
Reclamation spent $3 million to raise Roosevelt dam, downstream from
these allotments.  The dam was raised because Roosevelt Lake is
filling up with silt due to excess sediment in the creeks (from
livestock grazing) running into the lake.  Now the Forest Service
proposes to keep cattle on these allotments and spend another
$250,000 of taxpayers money on range "improvements."  As long as
cattle are permitted to remain on these allotments, the reservoir
will continue to fill up with sediment and taxpayers' dollars will
continue to go down the drain. 

These allotments were independently appealed by Forest Guardians as

Grazing Suit causes Mayhem among Ranchers

On January 8, 1996, the Southwest Center for Biological Diversity
filed suit against the Safford District of the Bureau of Land
Management (BLM) to get them to comply with section 7 of the
Endangered Species Act(ESA), which requires consultation with the US
Fish and Wildlife Service over the effects of federal actions on
threatened and endangered species.  The Safford district of the BLM
had not consulted on the effects its grazing program on federally
listed species since 1978.  The suit requested an injunction on
grazing in the Safford district until a programmatic analysis is
complete.  Species listed under the ESA since 1978 which occur on
the Safford district include the Southwestern willow flycatcher,
Bonytail chub, Loach minnow, Colorado squawfish, Razorback sucker
and Sanborn's long-nosed bat.  Ranchers are assembling under the
Eastern Arizona Counties Organization to protest the suit.  Terry
Bingham, Graham County Supervisor was last heard muttering "If they
get the cattle off the range they know they (the cattle) will never
go back because the cattlemen will be broke."