Livestock Removal Success: Gila River Basin

Name: Gila River Basin
State(s): Arizona, New Mexico
County(ies): (multiple)
Watershed(s): Gila River Basin
Ecosystem Type: Southwestern riparian
Species Benefited: Southwestern willow flycatcher, loach minnow, spikedace, Gila chub, Chiricahua leopard frog, Huachuca water umbel
Federal Unit(s): Forest Service Southwest Region; Safford Field Office, Bureau of Land Management
Acreage: 330 river miles
Method(s): Litigation
Law(s) Invoked: Endangered Species Act (ESA)
Term of Removal: Since 1998, permanent
Prime Mover(s): Center for Biological Diversity, Forest Guardians
Summary Explanation:

A series of lawsuits by the Center for Biological Diversity and Forest Guardians removed livestock from 330 miles of publicly-owned streams and riparian areas in the Gila River Basin in 1997-1998. The lawsuits were based on a series of ESA petitions filed by the Center to protect imperiled aquatic and forest species in the upper and middle Gila Watershed. Beginning in 1989, the Center has petitioned to list the Mexican spotted owl, southwestern willow flycatcher, loach minnow, spikedace, cactus ferruginous pygmy owl, Sonora tiger salamander, Huachuca water umbel, Bloomer's dock, Canelo Hills ladies' tresses, Gila chub, and Chiricahua leopard frog.