Absurd Sue And Settle Lawsuit Launched to Protect Borderlands Moth

Serial litigators, Defenders of Wildlife, Center for Biological Diversity, and Patagonia Area Resource Alliance filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the Patagonia eyed silkmoth under the Endangered Species Act.

The groups, who frequently file frivilous sue and settle lawsuits, claim the Patagonia eyed silkmoth “is clinging to survival in only three isolated locations in Arizona and Mexico.”

The groups previously petitioned the Fish and Wildlife Service to list the moth under the Endangered Species Act and designate critical habitat for the species.

The Patagonia eyed silkmoth exists in a single U.S. location; an Arizona cemetery less than half an acre in size. In Sonora, Mexico, it lives on two sky islands, higher elevation areas that are ecologically different from the lowlands surrounding them.

“The Patagonia eyed silkmoth needs endangered species protection now, so we can start the work of recovering this beautiful animal,” said Brian Segee, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity.

The Patagonia eyed silkmoth may have some redeeming qualities, but other than a curious appearance there appears to be no compelling reasons for it to fall under the Endangered Species Act.

From the Federal Register 2009 and 2016, both still under the administration led by President Obama:

Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 240 / Wednesday, December 16, 2009 /

Patagonia Eyed Silkmoth (Automerispatagoniensis)

The Range from upper left, Patagonia (Harshaw Creek) to the Huachuca Mountains is less than 30 miles and only 15 miles to Mexico.

The Patagonia eyed silkmoth is known to occur at Harshaw Creek in the Patagonia Mountains in Santa Cruz County and in the Huachuca Mountains in Cochise County, Arizona

(NatureServe 2007). No further information regarding the historical or current distribution or status of the species was presented.

Factor A: NatureServe (2007) identifies potential replacement of host plant grasses by invasive weeds to be a threat to the moth. However,

NatureServe (2007) does not indicate whether invasive weeds currently occur or are likely to occur in known habitat of the moth. Additionally, the known moth sites are in two mountain ranges several miles (several kilometers) apart and thus would not likely be impacted simultaneously by invasive weeds. We have determined that this information does not meet the substantial information standard.

Factors B, C, D, and E: No information was presented in the petition concerning threats to this species from these factors.

Based on our evaluation of the information provided in the petition, we have determined that the petition does not present substantial information to indicate that listing the Patagonia eyed silkmoth may be warranted.

Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 51 / Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Evaluation of a Petition To List the Patagonia Eyed Silkmoth as an Endangered or Threatened Species Under the Act.

Additional information regarding our review of this petition can be found as an appendix at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket  No. FWS–R2–ES–2016–0036 under the Supporting Documents section.

Species and Range; Patagonia eyed silkmoth (Automeris patagoniensis): Arizona; Mexico

Petition History:

On June 29, 2015, we received a petition dated June 17, 2015, from Defenders of Wildlife and Patagonia Area Resource Alliance requesting that the Patagonia eyed silkmoth be listed as threatened or endangered and critical habitat be designated for this species under the Act.

The petition clearly identified itself as such and included the requisite identification information for the petitioner, required at 50 CFR 424.14(a).

This finding addresses the petition. Finding Based on our review of the petition and sources cited in the petition, we find that the petition does not present substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned action may be warranted for the Patagonia eyed silkmoth (Automeris patagoniensis). Because the petition does not present substantial information indicating that listing the Patagonia eyed silkmoth may be warranted, we are not initiating a status review of this species in response to this petition.

The basis and scientific support for this finding can be found as an appendix at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. FWS–R2–ES–2016–0036.

Clearly the Defenders of Wildlife, along with the Center for Biological Diversity and Patagonia Area Resource Alliance must realize that this is a frivolous adventure that at best will result in the government controlling and restricting use of property. It is unclear exactly what or why Representative Raul Grijalva’s Center for Biological Diversity continues to gobble up and control vast amounts of land in the country, but it appears they have never seen a piece of land in Arizona they don’t want to control using the Endangered Species Act through the courts or threat of the courts..