Center For Biological Diversity “Nothing More Than A Litigation Machine”

In response to the Center for Biological Diversity recent statement that “Nor are goshawks or great horned owls a threat to Mexican spotted owls”

Research has shown that there is considerable spotted owl deprivation by other birds of prey across the country, and Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) officials have confirmed that here in Arizona, Mexican Spotted Owl (MSO) predators include great horned owls, red tail hawks and goshawks. The Center for Biological Diversity has simply not provided any evidence to the contrary, that for some strange, unaccountable reason, these birds of prey are leaving the MSO alone here in Arizona.

In response to the Center for Biological Diversity recent statement that the “Center didn’t Sue over any timber sale in the San Juan Fire area. That ‘fact’ was also made up.”

Senior level U.S. Forest Officials stated that actions taken by the Center for Biological Diversity were instrumental in stopping the NEPA-approved forest thinning operations in Eastern Arizona, that later accounted for the 7,000 acres of burned forest during the 2014 San Juan fire. Perhaps they did not “sue,” but their actions directly contributed to a huge, catastrophic wildfire that tragically harmed the ecosystem’s “biological diversity,” including the tragic deaths of all types of wildlife, and both threatened and endangered species. What does a wildfire-charred Mexican Spotted Owl smells like?

In response to the Center for Biological Diversity recent statement that “the Center knows the facts, and takes action.”

Contrary to the Center for Biological Diversity’s statements, they did not acknowledge or contest the fact that the MSO do much better and hunt more successfully in historically thinned, cleaned forest (i.e., 50 trees per acre) as opposed to dense, overgrown, unhealthy forests, as confirmed by AGFD officials. Nor did they acknowledge the fact that there are strict regulations already in place for restricting the times of the year when logging operations can take place, in order not to impact the MSO during their breeding season, as confirmed by AGFD officials. It has been reported that MSO have actually been located nesting inside barns and other outbuildings, so the presence of humans certainly does not appear to negatively impact the owls.

The MSO is not even a federally-listed endangered species, it is instead considered a species of special concern by AGFD, and a sensitive species by the U.S. Forest Service. It is unclear what the number of MSO is within the Flagstaff watershed thinning area. For example, the immense forested Camp Navajo, just 20 miles west of Flagstaff, is very similar to the Flagstaff watershed forest area in both elevation and the types of trees and forest density. In a 2000 survey, a few MSO detected by AGFD were assumed to be from the Volunteer Canyon area, and no nests or roosts were found within Camp Navajo. No MSO were detected during the 2002 or 2003 survey seasons. In 2008, two MSO were detected, one single male during early migration period and a single male was detected in the Volunteer Canyon Area, but there were no signs of nesting attempts.

In response to the Center for Biological Diversity recent statement that they “keep winning, and you all keep whining.

The reason why the Center for Biological Diversity arrogantly states that they “keep winning” is because they are nothing more than a litigation machine. Unlike admirable groups, such as the Nature Conservancy that are actually out in the field, working with the Forest Service, applying science and making an effort to improve forest health and biological diversity, the legal team (the “Suits”) of the Center for Biological Diversity sue the taxpayer-supported government agencies, small ranchers, family farmers and private businesses in order to win financial settlements and gain private contributions. At the end of the day and in contradiction to their very name, our ecosystems are not healthier or more “biologically-diverse” due to the Center for Biological Diversity. However, our citizens are financially harmed, their outdoor recreational opportunities are curtailed, and their personal health is compromised as our unhealthy forests burn, releasing vast amounts of harmful air and water pollution.

About Rep. Bob Thorpe 7 Articles
Bob Thorpe is an American politician and a Republican member of the Arizona House of Representatives representing District 6 since January 14, 2013.