The Sky Islands region is in danger. The US Air Force has announced plans to escalate training over the most biodiverse region of the continental United States, where Tribal Lands and conservation areas are the primary victims of environmental harm caused by military air maneuvers.
Potential new harms include:
- Fighter jet training as low as 100 feet, as close as 500 feet to people and homes; 2000°F flares dropped from as low as 2000 feet, hundreds of pounds of aluminium-coated glass fibres routinely ejected (chaff), sonic booms emitted as low as 5000 feet
- Perpetual threat of fires ignited by flares to local Native Nations communities, other rural communities, and conservation areas sheltering over 70 sensitive/at-risk wild species and 14 species listed under the Endangered Species Act, plus what is presumed to be the avian breeding grounds most densely utilized by the most diverse raptor population on the planet
- Withdrawal of available medical emergency helicopter services
- Potential decimation of species normally triggered to only emerge from hibernation by thunder vibration, such as Spadefoot toads
- Potential adverse effects to sensitive aquatic organisms from broken-down particles of aluminium-coated glass fibres (chaff)
- Chronic shock from sonic booms, and other potential disturbances to humans, horses, and wildlife
- Risks to protected archeological and geological sites, and interference with esteemed regional astronomy
The Peaceful Sky Benefit - Tucson, Arizona 2023 - is protesting any increase to the intensity of USAF training over Southern Arizona and Southwestern New Mexico. Event proceeds will benefit regional organizations defending against the proposals in question; through activities such as public awareness campaigns, networking, or potential legal action. Southwest Native Nations-led groups will be given precedence in becoming a beneficiary of the event.
See the call for artists/participants and sponsorships here.
We urge the public to contact elected officials regarding this negligent threat. The Sky Islands are historically sacred to Southwest Native Nations, internationally revered in biology and astronomy research, and a national treasure of unparalleled biodiversity.
For reference on this issue:
Our Comments to the US Air Force
Chiricahua Regional Council
Peaceful Chiricahua Skies
US Air Force EIS