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E-M:/ SW BIODIVERSITY ALERT #72 (fwd)



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Enviro-Mich message from David Zaber <ecotox@umich.edu>
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More info on the Forest Disservice timberbeast:


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              SOUTHWEST BIODIVERSITY ALERT #72
                           5/13/97           

          SOUTHWEST CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
           silver city, tucson, phoenix, san diego
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1. SECOND SUIT CHALLENGES HOOVER DAM OPERATIONS- WATER & POWER 
   INTERESTS CLAIM EXEMPTION FROM ESA

2. BRIDGER SALVAGE TIMBER SALE UPDATE- SIERRA CLUB INTERVENE TO 
   SAVE TREES, PROTESTERS FINED $2,000, DIRECT ACTION CAMP AT
   BRIDGER NEXT WEEK

3. FOREST SERVICE REJECTS PETITION TO ALLOW ENVIROS TO OUTBID 
   TIMBER COMPANIES.

4.  STUDY: SW WILDLIFE REFUGES WORST RUN IN U.S.

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

SECOND SUIT CHALLENGES HOOVER DAM OPERATIONS- WATER & POWER INTERESTS 
CLAIM EXEMPTION FROM ESA

The Southwest Center for Biological Diversity has sued the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service, claiming that its mitigation plan for the
endangered southwestern willow flycatcher will drive the species
extinct in order to preserve the status quo for big money water
interests on the lower Colorado River. Water & power interest from
WY, UT, CO, NV, CA, NM, AZ, and CA are trying to intervene in
the case, claiming their interests supersede the Endangered Species
Act. Defenders of Wildlife has filed an amicus brief in support of the
Center, arguing that the water users have the ability, discretion, and
responsibility of release 3.5 million acre feet from Lake Mead in
order to save the flycatcher from extinction.

The Fish and Wildlife has stated repeatedly that the flycatcher is
going extinct and that the baseline condition for the riparian
dependent species is jeopardy. Their biological opinion called the
destruction of 1,148 acres of native willow habitat at Lake Mead
(behind Hoover Dam) catastrophic:

  "The Service believes that a loss of this magnitude, both in the
  amount of habitat involved and the potential rapid rate of loss,
  is catastrophic when the status of the flycatcher and riparian
  habitat on the LCR and in the southwestern U.S. are considered."

The agency's draft biological opinion ordered Reclamation to drawn
down the reservoir immediately and to protect all flycatcher habitat
on the Colorado River. After a briefing paper was sent the Agency's 
Regional Office warning that "water and power interests" would find
the opinion "draconian," the consultation process was moved from the
Field Office biologists to the Regional Office. The Regional Office
finalized the opinion, authorizing the complete take of all flycatchers
and habitat at Lake Mead.


BRIDGER SALVAGE TIMBER SALE UPDATE- SIERRA CLUB INTERVENE TO 
SAVE TREES, PROTESTERS FINED $2,000, DIRECT ACTION CAMP AT
BRIDGER NEXT WEEK

The Los Angeles and Grand Canyon Chapters of the Sierra Club have
intervene in support of a Southwest Center appeal of a huge salvage
timber on the Kaibab National Forest. The sale would log old growth
ponderosa pines up to the border of Grand Canyon National Park.

Eight protestors arrested while climbing a flag pole within the
National Park to protest the sale were release without criminal
charges in exchange for forfeiting $2,000 in bail. The protest was
sponsored by the Southwest Center, the Student Environmental
Action Coalition, and AZ Earth First!

The Ruckus Society will be holding a direct action training camp next
to the sale, next weekend. Training will include techniques for non- 
violent civil disobedience, tree climbing, road blockades, and media
education.


FOREST SERVICE REJECTS PETITION TO ALLOW ENVIROS TO OUTBID TIMBER 
COMPANIES

The Department of Agriculture, has denied a petition by the
Northwest Ecosystem Alliance, the Southwest Center for Biological
Diversity, and the Oregon Natural Resources Council to allow
environmental groups the opportunity to outbid timber companies on
critical timber sales. Under current Forest Service regulations, only
timber companies are permitted to buy timber sales, even if more
money is offered to let the trees remain standing.


STUDY: SW WILDLIFE REFUGES WORST RUN IN U.S.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) today
released the results of  their National Wildlife Refuge Survey. 
According to National Wildlife Refuge managers surveyed, the
Southwest Region of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service ranks last in
quality of leadership, and ranks last in the degree of support when
making and implementing incompatibility decisions.   

PEER said that the Southwest Region had the lowest rating, almost
twice as bad as any other region, on the question of pressuring refuge
managers to change compatibility determinations based upon
non-biological or political factors. 

Almost 90% of the refuge managers responded to the survey.

  * Nearly 9 out of 10 responding refuge managers report the
refuges are not adequately staffed to meet core conservation needs
while more than 9 out of 10 say they are not adequately staffed to
serve the visiting public. 

  * Seven out of 10 refuge mangers contend that decisions affecting 
field operations are increasingly made by agency officials who lack 
adequate knowledge or experience in refuge management.  

  *Less than one in three say they have a greater voice in regional 
management decisions affecting their own refuge.  

  *Less than half of managers believe their regional office
is a strong advocate for my refuge. 

Copies of complete survey results, a regional report card and
submitted comments by refuge managers are available on request. 
Please contact: Roni Lieberman at 202/265-7337.


Kieran Suckling                               ksuckling@sw-center.org
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



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