Biological Resources

The documents listed below are Baseline Reports categorized topically as biological resources.

WestLand was retained to conduct surveys for Arizona hedgehog cactus in conformance with the monitoring requirements of the Resolution Pre-feasibility Activities Plan of Operations and the Tonto National Forest's Finding of No Significant Impact. Pursuant to mitigation and monitoring measures prescribed by the PoO, resurvey of the Pre-feasibility Activities Action Area for AHC is required every two years.

*Note: Documents with sensitive species information may not be available for download.

WestLand was retained to conduct wildlife monitoring surveys utilizing motion-sensitive cameras in the vicinity of Resolution's holdings near Superior, Arizona and in the broader area. Data were collected from 15 camera locations distributed in several areas including the Oak Flat area, the upper, middle and lower portions of Devils Canyon and the Near West tailings alternatives area. Data collected during this wildlife camera monitoring survey provides a preliminary inventory of wildlife species in the vicinity of the proposed project and in the broader area.

The purpose of the survey was to evaluate the occurrence and distribution of plants listed by the TNF as invasive species, hereafter called noxious weeds, within the proposed disturbance areas for Baseline Activities.

WestLand was retained to conduct biological baseline studies related to a proposed tailings alternative within the Tonto National Forest as outlined in a GPO, and related to proposed baseline activities in support of mining exploration activities in the same general area as described in a Plan of Operations.  Sonoran desert tortoise surveys were conducted with the Tailings and the Baseline Activities Areas. The purpose of these surveys was twofold.

WestLand was retained to conduct raptor studies within the proposed Near West Tailings alternative area to provide baseline biological information to support planning and permitting activities. Raptor surveys were timed to coincide with the breeding, nesting and post-fledgling periods for most raptors in the area. Eleven raptor species were recorded in the Analysis Area in 2013. None of the species observed are listed by USFWS as threatened or endangered under ESA, or by the USFS as sensitive or Management Indicator Species.

WestLand was retained to conduct avian surveys in support of the proposed Near West tailing alternatives areas. WestLand and BIOME biologists conducted avian surveys designed to provide information on the avian species occurring in the vicinity of the Analysis Area and to determine the presence of Tonto National Forest sensitive and management indicator species, as well as species protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

The purposes of this BE are: 1) to describe the physical and biological features of the Analysis Area, 2) to describe and map the plant communities, and 3) to identify the potential for special status species to occur within the Analysis Area.

RCM retained WestLand to conduct surveys for Morafka's desert tortoise (Gopherus morafkai, formerly G. agassizii, Sonoran population) within the Far West property located near Florence Junction, Arizona. The purpose of this study was to provide information on the occurrence and distribution of the tortoise within the study area.

WestLand was retained to conduct baseline biological surveys and studies in the project area.  Surveys reported here focus specifically on potential habitat for amphibians: the lentic habitats (ponds and stock tanks) and lotic habitats (ephemeral drainages and creeks) in the Oak Flat/East Plant Area, including portions of Devils Canyon south of U.S. Route 60.  The purpose of this report is to compile baseline data on amphibian and reptile species from surveys conducted for amphibians in 2011 and from previous surveys in 2003 and 2004.

WestLand was retained to conduct surveys of the reptile community at the Far West parcel and along portions of State Route 79 and US 60 located near Florence Junction. The purpose of this study was to provide information on the occurrence of selected reptile species with the emphasis on four species that are of special interest to Tonto National Forest and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Tucson shovel-nosed snake, Maricopa leaf-nosed snake, Sonoran desert tortoise, and reticulate Gila monster.

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Comments from each of the six public hearings are available for viewing. Note that the public comment period is now closed.

Public Hearing Comments

Draft EIS

The draft EIS public comment period closed November 7, 2019. All 30,000+ comment submittals are now under review for consideration in the compilation of the final EIS.

Media & General Info

Point of Contact
John Scaggs
Tonto National Forest
john.scaggs@usda.gov

Apache Leap Special Management Area
Apache Leap SMA website