Biological Resources

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

List of birds [frequency and season].

This is a summary of personal observations and impressions of the continued presence or absence of the herpetofauna which have been previously reported at the Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch. A total of fifty-two amphibian and reptile species have been reported within the Research Ranch boundaries. The continued existence of several species may be in doubt.

In order to assist RCM in obtaining the necessary environmental permits, WestLand has been conducting various baseline biological surveys and studies in and around where project features will be located. The goal of this report is to present results of surveys in the Study Area for: 1) riparian tree species, 2) pools and runs in the streambed, 3) fish species, 4) amphibian species, and 5) aquatic snake species.

WestLand was retained to conduct baseline biological studies in the Resolution Project Area. Surveys reported here focus specifically on aquatic habitats in Mineral Creek, Devils Canyon, and two tributaries to Devils Canyon, Ranch Rio and Hackberry Creeks. The objective of the surveys was to describe the diversity and abundance of aquatic taxa associated with perennial and intermittent streams in the Study Area.

WestLand was retained to conduct bird surveys within the Resolution Study Area. The Study Area encompasses Apache Leap escarpment, Queen Creek Canyon, Oak Flat, Rancho Rio Creek, Devils Canyon and Mineral Creek. The primary purpose of the surveys was to establish baseline information about bird species in the Study Area. The goals of this report are: 1) to provide a summary of the avian surveys conducted in 2008 and 2009, and 2) to assemble a list of avian species that have been reported in the Study Area, compiled from other surveys and sources as well as from WestLand's data.

WestLand was retained to conduct wildlife monitoring surveys utilizing motion-sensitive cameras in the vicinity of RCM's holdings near Superior, Arizona. Data were collected at sites in Devils Canyon in 2008 and expanded efforts included additional sites in Devils Canyon and the Oak Flat/East Plant Site areas in 2011. This study was designed primarily to detect medium to large mammal species in the Resolution Project Area.

WestLand was retained to conduct a raptor survey near Superior, Arizona. The survey was conducted on lands administered by the Arizona State Land Department, lands administered by the U.S. Forest, and private lands owned by RCM. The purpose of the survey was to locate raptor nesting territories and to monitor locations of previous raptor sightings in the Study Area to contribute to the baseline of information that will be available to analyze potential impacts of proposed mine features.

WestLand conducted bat surveys in the project vicinity.  Surveys reported here focus specifically on potential habitat for bats including selected locations: in Devils Canyon, along Queen Creek Canyon, around Oak Flat/East Plant and vicinity, and portions of Apache Leap and vicinity. The purpose of this project was to compile baseline data on bat species from surveys conducted in 2011 and previous surveys conducted in the vicinity in 1996, 2001, 2002, and 2004.

WestLand was retained to conduct a raptor survey on a parcel of land administered by ASLD near Florence Junction, Pinal County Arizona. The purpose of this study was to gather information on raptor use of the Far West site and to provide baseline survey information in order to analyze potential impacts of the proposed mine features in the future.

This list incorporates changes in taxonomy and nomenclature that have occurred since the last list was prepared. Additional species have been documented and added to the list.

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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