Center for Biological Diversity

Protecting endangered species and wild places through
science, policy, education, and environmental law.

For immediate release: December 12, 2001

For more information, please contact: Peter Galvin, (510) 841-0812


San Antonio - The Center for Biological Diversity filed a federal lawsuit today on the contentious development of 1,000 acres on the “La Cantera” property, charging that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) violated the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act by improperly issuing a “Habitat Conservation Plan” (HCP) and permitting the development.

The La Cantera development would be located within the “Recharge Zone” of the Edwards Aquifer, which produces the water used by the greater San Antonio area, and would remove more than 750,000 gallons each day from it. The suit charges that resulting impacts from the development would cause undue harm to the aquifer, and also charges that species protected under the Endangered Species Act would suffer harm if the development proceeds. Two ground beetles (Rhadine exilis and Rhadine infernalis) and a spider, the Madla Cave Meshweaver (Cicurina madla), were listed as endangered in December of 2000 specifically due to the destruction and/or deterioration of habitat caused by construction, filling of caves and karst features, loss of permeable cover and contamination from septic effluent, sewer leaks, run-off, pesticides, and other sources.

Peter Galvin, Conservation Biologist for the Center for Biological Diversity, stated, “cave ecosytems of Bexar Count are a unique part of this country’s natural heritage and an important indicator of the overall health of the environment. This project will not only destroy endangered species habitat, but will further compromise the critical Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone.”
Many concerned citizens, agency officials and public representatives have voiced concerns with the La Cantera development, including Mayor Howard Peak, who stated, “this is land that should not be developed in the first place as far as I’m concerned.”

The Center for Biological Diversity was formed in 1989 and has more than 6,000 members. The Center works to protect endangered species and wild places through science, policy, education and environmental law. The Center is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona and works nationwide on wildlife and wildland issues.

The Center is represented in this action by Matt Kenna of Kenna and Hickcox of Durango, Colorado.


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