Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Center established to 'balance debate' on environment

To counter what he calls misinformation put out by environmental groups, Southern Arizona attorney Hugh Holub has established the Center for Sustainable Development. There is a range war going on in Southern Arizona with a clear effort on the part of a couple specific groups to kick all ranchers off public lands in the West, says Holub, who is founder and executive director of the new organization. For instance, Holub said efforts are under way to increase fees for federal grazing because according to the Center for Biological Diversity, cattle grazing contributes to the endangerment of the Desert Tortoise. In December, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the listing of the Desert Tortoise as an endangered species is warranted, however, due to other priorities it will have to wait. During the wait time, the service will make any determination on critical habitat during development of the proposed listing rule. "People who aren't aware of this don't know how much it will affect everyone in Southern Arizona, especially in Tucson," Holub said. "They way some of the language is written home building, ranching, RV/ATV use, power lines, gas lines - just about everything is subordinate to the tortoise." Holub said issues like this shouldn't be driven by litigation, as most of the claims by these groups are. Instead they should be driven by science...more

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