Biological Resources

Arizona hedgehog cactus surveys were conducted 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.

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.

Biological baseline studies were conducted 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.

Raptor studies were conducted within the proposed Near West Tailings alternative area to provide baseline biological information to support planning and permitting activities.

Avian surveys were conducted 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.

Surveys were conducted for Morafka's desert tortoise (Gopherus morafkai, formerly G. agassizii, Sonoran population) within the Far West property located near Florence Junction, Arizona.

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.

Reptile community surveys at the Far West parcel and along portions of State Route 79 and US 60 located near Florence Junction.


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

Apache Leap Special Management Area
Apache Leap SMA website