Sunfoil Circle , Apache National Forest, New Mexico
by Daniel Dancer

A strip of foil tape found along a road became the medium for this circle around a stump in a small clearcut. The Southwest's forests are lush islands separated from one another by a sea of deserts and grasslands. As on true islands, isolation has resulted in great species diversity and increased susceptibility to human caused extinction. 100 years of heavy logging in the Southwest's National Forests has pushed the entire forest ecosystem to the edge of collapse. Southwestern songbirds have suffered huge declines in the last 20 years--a sure sign of an ecosystem in a state of emergency. Many reptiles, amphibians, birds, and old growth dependent plants are also in danger. The Southwest Center for Biological Diversity's Mexican spotted owl and Northern goshawk Endangered Species Act petitions have provided Southwest forests with strong protection allies. The Mexican spotted owl is all that stands between the last old growth mixed conifer forests and the timber companies. The Northern goshawk provides the same protection to our old growth ponderosa pine. They have also spurred a series of conservation plans. Forest loss in the Southwest has dropped by 60% since our petitions were filed. Contact the Southwest Center for Biological Diversity to find out how you can help the great "island forests" of the Southwest.

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