This year, the Air Force announced plans to intensify air operations over the area of southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico that is internationally recognized as most biodiverse in the continental United States.
Profound impacts would include:
- Perpetual threat of wildfire by jet flares to local Tribal Lands, unincorporated communities, wildlife refuges, and national forests
- People and wildlife subjected to chronic shock from sonic booms - including to what is presumed to be the breeding grounds most densely utilized by the most diverse raptor population on the planet
- Potential decimation of species normally triggered to only emerge from hibernation by thunder vibration, such as Spadefoot toads
- Withdrawal of available medical emergency helicopter services
The Air Force is preparing their environmental impact statement, with a formal decision, expected to be released in late 2023. The Chiricahua Regional Council (CRC) is gathering funds to fight this specific Air Force expansion.
The CRC is a 501c3 with origins in a groundbreaking 1990s battle to prevent the US Government from permitting a giant open-pit mine on National Forest lands in the Chiricahua Sky Islands. Working with community members, CRC’s founders won that fight. They’ve continued their activism as a citizens’ watchdog group for over 20 years - monitoring public agency actions and other issues affecting the Chiricahua, Peloncillo and Dragoon Mountains; and nearby areas of southeastern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, and adjacent northern Mexico.
We encourage the public to voice concerns to elected officials regarding this impending threat, and contribute to the Chiricahua Regional Council fund, if possible. The Sky Islands are historically sacred to southwest Native Nations, internationally revered in biology and astronomy research, and a national treasure of unparalleled biodiversity.