Sunday, October 24, 2021

Play

Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.

Play

House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.

Play

An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

Copper-Mining Fight in Santa Ritas Continues After Feds Protect Jaguars

Play

Tuesday, September 7, 2021   

TUCSON, Ariz. - The battle against copper mining the Santa Rita Mountains outside of Tucson continues - even though the feds just handed a victory to environmental groups.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service just rejected a bid by a Canadian mining company, Hudbay Minerals, to remove critical-habitat designation for jaguars from 50,000 acres - the proposed site of the company's open-pit Rosemont mine.

Gayle Hartmann, president of the nonprofit Save the Scenic Santa Ritas, said Hudbay now plans to explore the other side of the mountain - the west side.

"The biggest problem on the west side is that it's largely not public land, it's private land," said Hartmann. "It's their mining claims, and they have bought more private land. So, they're trying to avoid federal law by sticking to their private lands."

In 2019, Hudbay lost a court case that halted preparations for the Rosemont mine, but that is now under appeal. The company, which did not respond to a request for comment by deadline, has invested tens of millions of dollars in its mining claims in the Santa Rita Mountains.

Hartmann said she wants to see the area returned to the Coronado National Forest in pristine condition.

"What we're looking forward to ultimately is that there would be sufficient funds," said Hartmann, "through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, perhaps - to buy out their private land and turn this back into a national forest without mining claims on it."

Only a handful of jaguars still remain in the mountains of southern Arizona. Sportsmen and ranchers have hunted them almost to extinction.

The area is considered an important wildlife corridor to lure the Mexican jaguar population back into their historic range.

Robert Peters, southwest representative for Defenders of Wildlife, said he sees jaguars as an iconic part of the American West.

"They're a charismatic, vital part of our natural heritage that was lost," said Peters. "And it's essential that we reintroduce top predators, like the Mexican wolf and the jaguar, because they're key components to keeping ecosystems functioning well."

Peters coauthored two recent scientific papers on jaguars - one on the feasibility of reintroducing them in Arizona, and one that identifies 20 million acres of possible jaguar habitat in Arizona, much of it north of Interstate 10.



Disclosure: Defenders of Wildlife contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species & Wildlife, Energy Policy, Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …


Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …

Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …


In a new poll, 71% of all registered voters support strengthening rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution, including 73% of Independents and 50% of Republicans. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …

Health and Wellness

ARLINGTON, Va. - Although COVID-19 rates have gone down, the virus continues to hit the Hispanic community especially hard. Now, a new campaign aims …

Child-care advocates say if North Dakota doesn't boost funding for the system, more families might pull out of the workforce because of access issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …

Social Issues

PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …

Environment

ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021