Court Settlement Provides Hope for Mexican Gray Wolves
Forty Years After Endangered Species Act Protection, Government to Prepare Recovery Plan
TUCSON, Ariz.— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today issued its final analysis of the effects of the proposed Rosemont Mine on threatened and endangered species in the area. The formal document, called a “biological opinion,” gives approval to the mine despite admitting that it will destroy the home of America’s only known jaguar, nicknamed “El Jefe” by Tucson schoolchildren, and harm a number of other imperiled species. The Rosemont copper mine would blast a mile-wide, 3,000-foot-deep open pit in the heart of El Jefe’s home territory near Tucson and bury thousands of acres of surrounding public land with billions of tons of toxic mine waste.
“The agency charged with protecting America’s most vulnerable wildlife thinks it’s just fine for a foreign mining company to harm our only known jaguar,” said Randy Serraglio, conservation advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity. “This outrageous decision, which was contradicted by the agency’s own scientists, will not withstand judicial scrutiny.”
The Rosemont biological opinion has gone through multiple iterations. It was first released more than two years ago and then retracted. The conclusions regarding the jaguar in the final document released today remain largely the same as in the previous version. Documents obtained by the Center through the Freedom of Information Act showed that, in four different drafts of the previous document, agency scientists concluded that the mine would cause unacceptable harm to the jaguar, but their conclusions were reversed at higher levels of the agency.
Learn more about saving jaguars.
Contact: Randy Serraglio
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Banner photo Center for Biological Diversity; Mexican gray wolf photo by Robin Silver, Center for BIological Diversity