Rosemont and the Cuckoo scam

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) is proposing to list the “western distinct population segment” of the Yellow-billed Cuckoo as a threatened species as a result of a “sue and settle” agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity over 757 species nationwide. (See my article The Flaws in the Endangered Species Act for more on the “sue and settle” tactic.)

Cuckoo 1

According to a story in the Arizona Daily Star, about 20 cuckoos inhabit Pima County’s Cienega Creek Natural Preserve downstream from the proposed Rosemont copper mine. Radical environmentalists are making an issue of this in their failing attempts to stop the mine. The cuckoo is also being used as an excuse to stir up trouble along the San Pedro River near Sierra Vista (see story here).

Rosemont, anticipating the proposed listing, has already spelled out detailed mitigation plans for the cuckoo in its Environmental Impact Statement to the Forest Service.

In my opinion, the proposed listing of the cuckoo is not justified by science; it is purely politics.

Arizona and other western states are at the fringe of the cuckoo’s range. The Yellow-billed Cuckoo is common in the southeastern U.S. See the range map from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology below:

Cuckoo range map

Whether or not these fringe populations survive will have no impact on the overall species survival. Species’ occurrence within fringe areas are always ephemeral and subject to change.

The proposed listing itself is not the result of a scientific study, but is the result of litigation abuse by environmentalists and a backroom deal with FWS. A deal such as this shows why the Endangered Species Act should be repealed and replaced with a program that respects property rights and provides a positive incentive for conservation.


  1. It’s been all politics that Rosemont has had to face. Thanks Ray Carroll for spending the hard earned money you continually demand from us to fight jobs and money coming into this area. I’m glad Rosemont realized the cuckoo’s in this area don’t all live in trees. Most of them are elected and rule our lives.

  2. Tony Davis, Red Star reporter is on a mission to find any animal that might interfere with the progress of Rosemont Copper, It is just a matter of time before he finds another lost creature for his front page “stories”.

  3. Excellent article exposing the flaws in the environmentalists’ efforts to derail the Rosemont Copper project as well as other important projects America needs to maintain its economic and national security.

    “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”.

    We need more concerned citizens like yourself to stand up to the forces bent on our nation’s destruction.

  4. Jonathan – Thanks for putting the species range into context. Tony Davis, ADS, failed to make the points you made regarding the extent of this bird’s summer and winter ranges. The impression was given to the public that without protection of the couple dozen birds living along the San Pedro, Cienega Creek area, the species would go belly up. This is a similar issue with misrepresentation on the importance of one lone male jaguar to the overall jaguar population.

    Note to Tony if you’re reading this: Just as people who play golf are “golfers” not “golfplayers”, so are the people who are avid, enthusiastic, and hard-core birders. We’re birders, not “birdwatchers” – an archaic and somewhat derogatory term used by non-birders who don’t get this activity. Birders are way beyond backyard “birdwatchers”.

  5. This is just another case of a minority of individuals creating a stir over what turns out to be of no consequence once the facts are reviewed. The Rosemont team is by far filled with the most diligent environmental consulting group of any previous mining group to come along. I am sure Kathy Arnold and her competent team have reviewed and studied any species and the possible effects this great project may impose upon their habitat if any. I would like to see our government officials offer the same due diligence in the study of positive socioeconomic impact this project can have for the working class and our economy. both very endangered species in my opinion.

  6. Jobs in Pima County? Not after the way the have treated Rosemont Copper. Your elected officials are burying you in debt.

  7. Some humans just want their lives to be ruled by inferior species. If the environmental whackos had their way, the human population would suffer more at the behest of the ideology of saving threatened species than it would from natural, intelligent human progression.

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