CBD uses intimidation and litigation
Rosemont Senior Vice President James A. Sturgess is calling the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service notice soliciting comments on a proposal to designate critical habitat for the jaguar in New Mexico and Arizona a result of bullying by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and not sound science.
The few jaguar sightings in Southern Arizona in the last half-century or more have been males. Rosemont argues that even the CBD biologists would have to agree that a species with only sparse wandering males does not constitute a breeding population. Records show the last recorded sighting of a female jaguar in Arizona was in 1910.
Sturgess says the Center for Biological Diversity has a history of gaining millions of our federal tax dollars through intimidation and litigation.
In a statement released Monday, Sturgess cites an interview in which, Kieran Suckling, founder of the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), says, “New injunctions, new species listings and new bad press take a terrible toll on agency morale… Psychological warfare is a very underappreciated aspect of environmental campaigning.
The core talent of a successful environmental activist is not science and law. It’s campaigning instinct. That’s not only not taught in the universities, it’s discouraged.”
Rosemont believes that the “USFWS and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) will not be intimidated by a group that prides itself on bullying public agencies. We have seen firsthand how seriously the USFWS and the USFS take their mission to be good stewards and to develop reasoned, scientifically based assessments.”
According to Sturgess, the jaguar’s wide range extends from northern Mexico through Central America and much of South America. He writes that it is “unclear how a fringe area on the northern periphery of the Santa Rita Mountains could possibly be considered essential to the species’ conservation and recovery especially when the area has a century of ongoing human use.”
Rosemont claims that their project will not adversely affect the ability of conservation organizations to conserve and recover this species. The northern Santa Rita Mountains is an area that has long been used for mining, ranching, recreation, and similar activities since the 1800s.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it will seek public comment on a proposal to designate critical habitat for the jaguar under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in portions of southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. Jaguars in the U.S. are part of the northern range of a population that occurs in Mexico.
The areas the Service has identified are primarily in New Mexico, but include some of Arizona. A small portion of the area is in the Rosemont Copper footprint.
On March 30, 1972, the Service listed the jaguar as endangered outside of the U.S. in accordance with the Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1969. On July 22, 1997, the Service published a final listing rule that extended endangered status for the jaguar into the United States.