2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 24 Apr 2002 17:20:38 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] U.S. fails to protect river

U.S. fails to protect river
Shaun McKinnon
The Arizona Republic
April 18, 2002 

Expansion at Fort Huachuca in southern Arizona continues to threaten the 
San Pedro River and two endangered species that live there, despite 
promises by the Army and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reduce 
groundwater pumping in the area, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Alfredo Marquez found that the Army violated the 
federal Endangered Species Act by failing to adequately protect the San 
Pedro from widening operations at the base. The Fish and Wildlife 
Service also violated the law in evaluating the Army's plans, Marquez 
said, ruling that the agency's conclusions were "arbitrary and 

A Fort Huachuca spokeswoman said Tuesday that the Army may appeal the 
decision, but the Fish and Wildlife Service likely will be forced to 
redo its study of the area, which could lead to stricter water use 
requirements for both the military and nearby communities.

The ruling represents a major victory for environmental groups trying to 
protect the San Pedro, one of the Southwest's most ecologically diverse 
systems and one of the region's only remaining rivers that is not 
dammed. Its flow has fallen significantly in recent years as groundwater 
pumping increased in nearby Sierra Vista and at Fort Huachuca.

The Tucson-based Center for Biological Diversity challenged a Fish and 
Wildlife Service opinion issued in 1999 that the base and the 
communities that support it would not adversely affect the river or two 
endangered species, the Huachuca water umbel, a plant, and the 
Southwestern willow flycatcher, a bird.

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