Group sues over Pecos bluntnose shiner - Lawsuit alleges agencies violated the Endangered Species Act.


March 24, 2006

No author provided at originating newspaper.


The Associated Press 

The Silver City Sun-News

Silver City, New Mexico 

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Santa Fe, New Mexico - An environmental group has sued two federal agencies, alleging they've failed to adequately protect the endangered Pecos bluntnose shiner.

The Santa Fe-based Forest Guardians sued the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the Army Corps of Engineers earlier this week.

The lawsuit alleges the agencies violated the Endangered Species Act by not using their full discretionary powers to provide adequate river flows for the endangered fish.

Forest Guardians' Executive Director John Horning said his group sued believing the species could be on the brink of extinction.

The lawsuit claims that the segments of the Pecos River controlled by the two federal agencies contain the only remaining populations of the Pecos bluntnose, a species listed as endangered in 1987. The agencies' actions have jeopardized the existence of the shiner and adversely modified and destroyed its designated critical habitat, according to the suit.

The group says the shiner's population has dramatically declined during the past four years.

Mary Perea Carlson, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, said her office had received a copy of the lawsuit, but that she hadn't had a chance to review it. She also noted that she could not comment on pending litigation.

Bruce Hill, a spokesman for the Corps of Engineers, also said his agency had received the suit, but had not yet reviewed it and could not comment.


Additional related, recommended Web Master Research:


The Pecos River had a flow of 650 Cubic Feet per Second near Santa Rosa Lake in 1977.

The Pecos River had a flow of 150 Cubic Feet per Second near Santa Rosa Lake in 2002.

The Pecos River currently has a flow of 27 Cubic Feet per Second near Santa Rosa Lake. (March 2006)

Numbers are acquired from Army Corps of Engineers website reports for the Pecos River Basin in New Mexico. Check them out for yourself using this search string: "Pecos River" "New Mexico" "Corps of Engineers"

There is a great deal of Language Deception in the above article that was released by the Forest Guardians. The group claims a "dramatic decline" in the population of the Pecos bluntnose shiner over the past four years. What they fail to report is the "dramatic drought" that has taken hold over the past four years (and earlier) in the same areas they profess to be so concerned about. Are the BOR and Corps of Engineers supposed to magically create increased water flows so there is enough water for the Pecos bluntnose shiner to have for its survival? Even Santa Rosa Lake is far below normal levels that would allow recreation this year.

It is not just the Pecos River that is experiencing low water levels. The Rio Grande, and Gila Rivers are also far below normal flows due to the drought. Major lakes fed by these rivers are so far below normal that some recreational areas may be closed for use if precipitation levels do not increase. This will also affect the Gila Trout (protected species), and the Silvery Minnow (endangered species) as well. Are these environmental groups going to sue other agencies because they can not provide enough water? YOU BET! Just wait and watch, as the extremists sue for water that can not be produced, as they grab more headlines so they can get more money through lawsuits. It's about control, not the species, we can not control Mother Nature.

Gerald Ullery, Web Master, Silver City, New Mexico. ff_drought.pdf