Judge Delays Construction of Arizona Observatory

The endangered red squirrel gets a 120-day reprieve, while Congress reconsiders its support of Mount Graham complex TUCSON -- Two years ago, astronomers and their supporters climbed up Capitol Hill and won approval for a $200 million observatory on an Arizona mountaintop. Many people thought that was the end of a four-year struggle between astronomers and people who opposed observatory development (The Scientist, Nov. 28, 1988, page 5; and Jan. 22, 1990, page 4). But last month, a federal cour

Mark Holman Turner
Apr 29, 1990


The endangered red squirrel gets a 120-day reprieve, while Congress reconsiders its support of Mount Graham complex
TUCSON -- Two years ago, astronomers and their supporters climbed up Capitol Hill and won approval for a $200 million observatory on an Arizona mountaintop. Many people thought that was the end of a four-year struggle between astronomers and people who opposed observatory development (The Scientist, Nov. 28, 1988, page 5; and Jan. 22, 1990, page 4). But last month, a federal court temporarily halted construction on the Mount Graham site. And within days of that decision by United States District Judge Alfredo C. Marquez, Rep. Morris K. Udall (D-Ariz.) requested that the House subcommittee on national parks and public lands hold an oversight hearing about the matter. In short, the fate of the mountain is far from settled.

At the core of this latest flare-up is a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service...

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