Urgent Action Needed to Protect the San Francisco Peaks

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From Shawn Mulford:


Dear San Francisco Peaks Protector,


After more than a decade of working for the protection of the sanctity of the San Francisco Peaks it is time for our voices to unite and be heard.  We must speak out to convince the President, Secretary of Agriculture, and Secretary of Interior to comply with Federal law.  Below are email addresses to send the following letter to and a link to the White House website to submit your comment.  After you send your letter please forward this message onto your friends, colleagues and family.  We need all organizations and individuals that have worked tirelessly over the last decade to speak out to protect the San Francisco Groundsel and the last of our natural environment from preventable corporate-made ecological disasters.


Thank-you for your efforts!


President Barack Obama

  • Please select “Environment” for the subject and you may copy and paste the letter below into the comment field.


Secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar;


Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack;



Southwest Regional Forester, Corbin Newman




December 4, 2012


White House

President Barack Obama

1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW

Washington, DC 20500


Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack

U.S. Department of Agriculture

1400 Independence Ave. SW

Washington, DC 20250


Secretary Ken L. Salazar

U.S. Department of the Interior

1849 C. St. NW

Washington, DC 20240


Re:  Ensure Endangered Species Protection for the San Francisco Peaks Groundsel (Packera Franciscana).


Dear President Obama, Secretary Vilsack and Secretary Salazar:


We support the environmental study conducted by SWCA Environmental Consultants and Sonoma Technology, Inc. which was authorized by the Hopi Tribe and submitted on August 24, 2012 to the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  This extensive study provides the only snow transport modeling and analysis report on record which establishes its data as the “best available science”.  This study makes evident that a substantial amount of nitrogen-enriched treated sewage effluent overspray and drift was not accounted for in the proposed snowmaking plan at Arizona Snowbowl.   The omission of snow dispersion by wind is a gross oversight that imminently threatens the critical habitat and long term existence of the federally threatened San Francisco Peaks Groundsel. The actions by the Federal Government in failing to perform adequate due diligence and protect this federally threatened species is a violation of Federal Law.

  • The San Francisco Peaks Groundsel is protected by Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.  All government agencies have an obligation under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act to conserve endangered and threatened species and not approve actions that would harm the continued existence of a listed species including adversely affecting its critical habitat.  Based on this new finding, which is the best available science, we insist that President Barack Obama, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Interior disallow the use of treated sewage effluent (reclaimed wastewater) for snowmaking on the San Francisco Peaks.
  • The new forest planning rule clearly states the responsible official shall determine whether or not the plan components provide the ecological conditions necessary to contribute to the recover of federally listed threatened and endangered species and to maintain a viable population of each species of conservation concern within the plan area (section 219.9 Diversity of plant and animal communities).  Allowing snowmaking with nitrogen-enriched treated sewage does not contribute to maintaining a viable population or promote recovery of the San Francisco Groundsel.
  • We insist that all Indigenous Peoples and Nations be informed and consulted on the findings from this new study in accordance with both domestic and international law such as stated in Article 19 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The forest planning rule was established to ensure the protection of species diversity, forest restoration and conservation rather than promoting the degradation of the ecosystem.  Again, we strongly urge your Agency to comply with the Endangered Species Act by stopping the use of treated sewage effluent for snowmaking on the San Francisco Peaks.  The higher public purpose and interest is better served by not allowing irreversible damage to the critical habitat of the federally protected San Francisco Peaks Groundsel (Packera franciscana).



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