Biological Resources

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

WestLand was retained to conduct bird surveys in the vicinity or RCM's holdings near Superior, Arizona. The purpose of these surveys was to establish baseline information about bird populations at Resolution. This report provides an inventory of the birds observed during 2009, various analyses of the data by habitat type, and where appropriate, comparisons to similar data collected in 2008.

WestLand biologists set up three motion-sensitive cameras besides springs within a study area along Devils Canyon. The three cameras were demonstrably functioning for a total of 433 camera-days. Cameras 1 and 2 captured 82 identifiable images of animals representing 8 mammals and 2 birds. Mammal species photographed included mountain lion, bobcat, black bear, coati, ringtail, collared peccary, white-tailed deer, and cottontail. The bird species were Bewick's wren and spotted towhee.

WestLand was retained to conduct bird surveys in the vicinity of RCM's holdings, near Superior, Arizona. The purpose of the census was to establish baseline information about bird populations at Resolution. This report provides an inventory of the birds observed as well as a discussion of results from the data collection efforts.

Fish surveys were conducted in order to determine the presence of absence of the Gila chub, as well as other native fishes within portions of Devils Canyon and upper Mineral Creek, and within two stock tanks in the vicinity of the Project. The Gila chub is listed by USFWS as endangered with critical habitat under the ESA.

The Research Ranch, near Elgin in Santa Cruz County, Arizona, is administered by the National Audubon Society. It consists of about 8000 acres of federal and private lands that are managed for ecosystem research projects by the National Audubon Society, which has cooperative agreements with the federal land management agencies. This summary of the early history of land settlement of the Research Ranch area and some of the subsequent land transactions is taken primarily from information in the land records of the BLM and ASLD.

List of mammals [confirmed by observation or sign; suspected, but not confirmed; resident, common; occasional].

The 7B Ranch falls within Audubon's identified "Lower San Pedro River Important Bird Area". The San Pedro River riparian corridor from the "Narrows" to the Gila River confluence was identified as a state Important Bird Area by the Arizona IBA Science Committee in January 2007. The Audubon IBA bird survey data collection coordinated by the Tucson Audubon-IBA Program, Avian Science Initiative, at 7B Ranch provided key "mesquite bosque avian habitat" data for these reviews.

WestLand was retained to conduct a survey for raptors on the approximately 1,224-hectare Federal Parcel, in the Tonto National Forest. The purpose of this survey was to determine which raptor species could be confirmed on the Parcel.

WestLand was retained to conduct a survey for bats on the approximately 1,224-hectare Federal Parcel, in the Tonto National Forest. The purpose of this survey was to determine which bat species could be confirmed present on Parcel.

WestLand was retained to conduct a range of ecological studies of several parcels of land. This report summarizes the biological resources of one parcel of U.S. Forest Service land (the Federal Parcel) and five privately owned parcels (the Offered Lands). The work was conducted in anticipation of a possible land exchange.

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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