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CBD Trying to Close Glamis

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The following is from

CBD After the Glamis Dunes Again!!

December 2, 2004 letter from the Center for Biological Diversity

RE: Notice of Violation of Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act Relating
to Petitions to List the Andrew's Dune Scarab Beetle and Sixteen Insects
Endemic to the Algodones Dunes

Dear Ms. Norton and Mr. Williams:

On behalf of the Center for Biological Diversity (the "Center") and pursuant
to 16 U.S.C. § 1540(g)(2), I am submitting the following 60-day notice
letter to inform you that the Center intends to sue the U.S. Department of
the Interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (collectively "FWS") for
violating the Endangered Species Act ("ESA"), 16 U.S.C. §§ 1531-1544. FWS
has violated the ESA by failing to take the legally-required action
concerning: (1) the petition to list the Andrew's dune scarab beetle as
endangered or threatened under the ESA; and (2) the petition to list 16
insects endemic to the Algodones Dunes, Imperial County, California as
endangered or threatened under the ESA. FWS has not issued a 90-day finding
for either petition, and has furthermore violated its duty to issue a
12-month finding for the Andrew's dune scarab beetle.

The Center submitted a petition to list the Andrew's dune scarab beetle
andrewsi Hardy) on December 12, 2002. The entire known geographic range of
the Andrew's dune scarab beetle is restricted to the Algodones Dunes of
Imperial county in southeastern California and northern Baja California,
Mexico. Threats to the Andrew's dune scarab beetle include: a highly
restricted geographic range; specialized habitat needs; and historic,
ongoing, and future disturbance from heavy off-road vehicle use of the
Algodones Dunes.

On July 19, 2004, the Center submitted a petition to list the following
sixteen insects endemic to the Algodones Dunes as threatened or endangered
under the ESA: two sand wasps (Microbembex elegans Griswold and Stictiella
villegasi Bohart); two bees (Perdita algodones Timberlake and P. glamis
Timberlake); one vespid (Euparagia n. sp.); two velvet ants (Dasymutilla
nocturna Mickel and Dasymutilla imperialis Manley and Pitts); three jewel
beetles (Lepismadora algodones Velten, Prasinalia imperialis Barr, and
Algodones Agrilus harenus Nelson); two scarab beetles (Anomala hardyorum
Potts and Cyclocephala wandae); and four subspecies of Roth's dune weevil
(Trigonoscuta rothi rothi, T. r. algodones, T. r. imperialis, and T. r.
punctata). The entire known geographic range of each of these sixteen insect
species is restricted to the Algodones Dunes system of Imperial County in
southeastern California, U.S.A. and northern Baja California, Mexico. Even
within the dune system, these species are classified as rare by
entomologists who have conducted extensive surveys for insects on the
Algodones Dunes and their environs. Any activities that result in direct
mortality of individuals, as well as the general decline of plant cover and
the specific decline of their respective host plants, would threaten the
survival of these species with highly restricted geographical ranges and
highly specific habitat needs.

Congress enacted the ESA to ensure the protection and conservation of
threatened and endangered species. 16 U.S.C. § 1531(B ). The fundamental,
express purpose of this federal statute is to conserve endangered and
threatened species and the ecosystems upon which they depend. Id. To achieve
this purpose, the ESA requires FWS to list species of plants and animals
that are facing extinction as either "threatened" or "endangered." 16 U.S.C.
§ 1533(c )(1). Upon receipt of a petition to list a species, FWS has
approximately 90 days to make a finding as to whether the petition "presents
substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the
petitioned action may be warranted." 16 U.S.C § 1533 (B )(3)(A); 50 C.F.R. §
424.14 (B )(1). Twelve months after receipt of a citizen petition, FWS must
make one of three determinations: (1) listing is not warranted; (2) listing
is warranted; or (3) listing is warranted but presently precluded by other
pending proposals for listing species, provided certain circumstances are
met. 16 U.S.C. § 1533(B )(3)(B ). If FWS determines that listing a species
is warranted, it must then promptly publish, in the Federal Register, a
proposed rule to list the species. 16 U.S.C. § 1533(B )(5).

FWS has not published a 90-day finding or a 12-month finding for the
Andrew's Dune scarab beetle despite the passage of almost 24 months since
the submission of the petition. FWS has not published a 90-day finding for
the petition to list 16 insects endemic to the Algodones Dunes despite the
passage of approximately 130 days since submission of the petition.
Consequently, FWS is in violation of section 4 of the ESA. If FWS does not
promptly correct its violations, the Center intends to file suit.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at (951) XXX-XXXX with any questions or
to notify the Center of any incomplete or erroneous information you find in
this notice letter. Thank you for your prompt attention to our concerns.
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January 21, 2005

Contact: Kraig Marton 602-570-3510

For Immediate Release: PRfect Media 480-706-6880

Jury Awards $600,000 to Arizona Rancher - Environmental Group Found
Libel for False Statements and Accusations

(Tucson) A Tucson jury today found the Center for Biological
Diversity, a well-known environmental group, guilty of
making "false, unfair, libelous and defamatory statements" against
Jim Chilton, a fifth generation Southern Arizona Rancher.

In a judgment announced during the noon hour, the jury awarded
Chilton $100,000 in actual damages, and $500,000 in punitive damages
for defaming him and his family business in a two-page press release
and 21
photographs posted on the Center's website in July 2002 that were
false and misleading regarding Chilton's 21,500-acre Montana grazing
Allotment northwest of Nogales.

"This case is more about the truth than about money. After all
expenses have been covered, I am going to donate all the remaining
money to the Arizona Cattle Growers Association to be used for the
truth and responsibility for cattle grazing issues", said Chilton.

The suit was filed, according to Chilton, because he wanted to
challenge the way the Center for Biological Diversity does business.

"They don't use science, they use scare tactics," said
Chilton. "They also use endangered species as surrogates to obtain
their own goals and to raise money," he added.

According to last year's annual statement, the Center for Biological
Diversity has an annual budget of $2.9
million, and assets of $2.4 million.

The jury agreed with Chilton's claim, citing the Center did make
false statements in a news advisory, and that misleading photographs
were used in an unsuccessful effort to block renewal of Chilton's
grazing permit.

The jury also cited that the Center did not accurately describe the
condition of the grazing allotment.

The judge in the case asked the jury specific questions related to
the claim, in which the jury responded in favor of Chilton.

"It's not very common for a rancher to sue an environmental group.
But in this case, they attacked my client personally and misstated
the facts," said Kraig Marton, Chilton's attorney. "We are very
pleased with the jury's decision and judgment," said Marton.

The lawsuit named not only the Center for Biological Diversity, but
also three of its current and former employees: Martin Taylor,
author of the release; Shane Jimerfield, the Web site designer who
posted it;
and A.J. Schneller, who was responsible for some photos and
captions, and Kieran Suckling, the Executive Director of the Center
who, Marton says, set the tone for making the false statements.

For more information regarding this lawsuit, contact Kraig Marton at
602-570-3510 or PRfect Media at 480-706-6880.
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