Dori Edwards, Global Animal
At the end of 2011, the first jaguar to be seen in the United States during the past three years was spotted in Arizona. Unfortunately, the Rosemont Copper Project is planning to destroy 4,500 acres of land in the Santa Rita mountain range just north of the Mexican Border. With this in the works, jaguars will not have the opportunity to flourish in the United States and the recognized endangered species will further be put in harm’s way.
The jaguar was listed as endangered in 1997 and recent propositions by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services suggest protection for mountain ranges along the Mexican Border. However, the Coronado National Forest, which is located in the Santa Rita mountains, is not included as a “critical habitat.” This region is a vital habitat for jaguars and acts as a travel corridor for the large felines.
The mile wide mine will not only effect jaguars but many other species in the biologically diverse area. It will impact riparian wildlife downstream and fill entire canyons with waste rock. The project could also increase traffic and consequently the amount of wildlife roadkill.
According to Defenders of Wildlife, “The Draft Environmental Impact Statement for this proposed project does not adequately analyze the potential impacts to sensitive wildlife habitat, water quality and quantity, air quality, climate change, or recreation-based economies.” Another analysis and statement must be conducted in order to comply with The National Environment Policy Act.
As Care 2 aptly states, “this disastrous project would scar the countryside, take away vital habitat for all animals, including jaguars, severely impact Arizona’s tourism, and cause dangerous traffic problems as huge trucks screech their way along narrow two-lane roads.”
Help prevent this environmental hazard and sign the petition to encourage the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to include the Coronado National Forest in its list of “critical habitats.”