Butterfly lawsuit pits activists against vehicles
(Note: "One of the largest sand dunes in the West" sounds impressive, but pales in comparison to White Sands and Monument Valley. "One of the largest" does not mean that it's even large! The "Center for Biological Diversity," litiguous "environmentalists," throw fits about domestic livestock defecating in streams, but never utter a peep about wildlife doing the same whenever the mood "moves" them. Even more illuminating is the fact that the "CBD" is DEAD SILENT when countless flora and fauna are incinerated each year in fires caused by federal agency non-management of forests and the lockdown of land to any use whatsoever, including salvage harvest. "Biological Diversity" could certainly be replaced by "Resource Control" and it would not be much of a cerebral "stretch" to do so. This article is saturated with Language Deception. If off-road enthusiasts and their vehicles were so damaging to the butterfly -- or any other flora or fauna that the "CBD" deems worthy of litigating "on behalf of" -- it would already be extinct from "an estimated" 50,000 annual motorized vehicles. No mention is made of the damage that human shoe treads might wreak on the poor butterfly. The very title of the article reeks of Language Deception: "activists" are NOT pitted against "vehicles." Control freaks are going to court to try to get Control of this entire duned area. Call 'em "conservationalists" or "environmentalists" -- but in truth, they are far from being either.)
January 6, 2006
No author provided at originating website URL, but is Scott Sonner [email protected]
Reno, Nevada - Conservationists sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday seeking protection for a rare butterfly they say is threatened by off-road vehicles at one of the largest sand dunes in the West.
Environmentalists want the agency to declare the Sand Mountain blue butterfly an endangered species because, they say, its habitat is being destroyed at the only place it is known to live -- the Sand Mountain Recreation Area in western Nevada.
The Bureau of Land Management controls activities at the dune, which is 600 feet tall and stretches for two miles.
It attracts an estimated 50,000 off-roaders annually on motorcycles, dune buggies and all-terrain vehicles.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Sacramento, California, accuses the agency of violating the Endangered Species Act by failing to respond to petitions since April 2004 seeking federal protection for the butterfly.
The act [ESA] requires the government to provide a preliminary response to such petitions within 90 days and often again within a year.
Plaintiffs accuse the Bureau of Land Management of pandering to off-roaders.
“It’s a stall tactic coming out of hostile politics in Washington,” said Daniel Patterson, a desert ecologist for Arizona’s Center for Biological Diversity, which is suing along with the *Nevada Outdoor Recreation Association [NORA] and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility [PEER].
Bob Williams, Nevada supervisor for the Fish and Wildlife Service, blamed lack of money for the agency’s inaction.
“We only get a certain amount of money a year to do listing findings,” Williams said. Most of it was spent on sage grouse and pygmy rabbit reviews in the past two years, he said.
The Fish and Wildlife Service hopes to spend about $35,000 on a 90-day review -- probably beginning in June -- to determine whether there is enough evidence to warrant a full, yearlong review of the butterfly, Williams said.
“We do know the butterfly is there, and we haven't been able to find it at any other location,” he said.
The butterfly depends on a unique shrub, the Kearney buckwheat, which covers about 1,000 of the recreation area’s 4,795 acres. It is found nowhere else.
The Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management have been working with local groups to save the butterfly without necessarily listing it as endangered. Tentative plans call for more signs designating approved travel routes, fencing to protect the habitat and additional law enforcement.
Many off-roaders oppose a federal listing.
“If it did become listed, no telling what type of restrictions they could do out there,” said Richard Hilton of Reno, a board member of the Friends of Sand Mountain, a group composed primarily of off-road enthusiasts.
Copyright 2006, MSNBC.com.
vs. rare butterfly in ESA lawsuit at Nevada sand dune
*Nevada Outdoor Recreation Association (NORA): "Founded in 1958 as the Nevada Public Domain Survey (NPDS) and dedicated to the preservation and management of our U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Public Lands and unappropriated government lands worldwide. The Nevada Outdoor Recreation Association, Inc. (NORA) is the nation's oldest BLM Public Lands environmental and commons ecology advocacy." http://www.nora.org "Founded in 1958 as the Nevada Public Domain Survey (NPDS) and dedicated to the preservation and management of our U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Public Lands and unappropriated government lands worldwide. The Nevada Outdoor Recreation Association, Inc. (NORA) is the nation's oldest BLM Public Lands environmental and commons ecology advocacy. "NORA" -- as we are widely known -- is the world's oldest "Commons Ecology" organization. Not even conservation pioneer John Muir dared enter this environmental arena when he drafted his plan in 1889-90 for Yosemite National Park, and yet said afterwards, "everything is connected to everything else." Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 did consider an action towards the General Land Office (GLO) and its then near billion acres of unappropriated government lands, known as the public domain. But; realizing American Victorian politics was opposed to it, he gave up. Thus, Teddy could only act on "appropriated" lands like our forests (US Forest Service) and refuges (US Fish & Wildlife Service). Roosevelt did create the first "national monument," but it was quickly transferred to the National Park Service. Even Aldo Leopold's book, "Sand County Almanac," avoided the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which in 1946 was a new agency created by combining the General Land Office (1812) and the Grazing Service (1934). This caused a flawed form of "choice morsel" protectionism to dominate the first half of the 20th century, not just in America; but, in every nation and territory on the planet. In turn, much of Earth's wild biodiversity was relegated to limbo, even inside the conservation movement. Indeed, NORA initially made itself unpopular by challenging a resultant mindset that callously treated the BLM as a supermarket of land for pet projects. A new advocacy was needed for this unappropriated land biodiversity, to make it less vulnerable to vested interests, who wanted BLM and the Commons liquidated. One answer was: begin a comprehensive inventory in the 2nd largest Public Land state -- outside Alaska -- using the BLM's 48,000,000 acres in Nevada. In 1958, thirteen Nevadans created the Nevada Public Domain Survey (NPDS) task force. In 1959 thru 1964 NPDS explored and recommended in their Nevada "Big Book" project the first BLM "primitive" (wilderness) and "natural areas" in the Black Rock Desert (near Gerlach, in NW Nevada) and at Red Rock Canyon (near Las Vegas). Thus, "BLM environmentalism" was born. Later on, this was expanded into Commons Ecology, a thesis to give Earth's unappropriated government lands a heightened environmental priority. In 1964, NPDS and the Nevada Conservation Society merged to become the Nevada Outdoor Recreation Association, Inc. (NORA). In 1965, NORA's BLM advocacy was first recognized in a National Parks magazine article: "Preservation and The Public Lands." Although still controversial, Commons Ecology was adopted by such notables as Lady Bird Johnson and Justice William O. Douglas. In 1974, NORA co-founder Charles Watson and the late Thomas H. Watkins outlined an agency charter in a book, "The Lands No One Knows." From this came BLM "Organic Act" tenets in the 1976 Federal Lands Policy & Management Act (FLPMA). In 1987, Watson became an American delegate to the World Wilderness Congress, where Commons Ecology began to spread globally." [black bolding/emphasis at original URL] http://www.nora.org/index.cfm?sector=news&page=read&newsid=18