Impact Alert

The Sky Islands region is in danger. The US Air Force has announced proposals to severely escalate training over the most biodiverse region of the continental United States, where military air maneuvers especially harm Tribal Lands and conservation areas.

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 fibers ejected from as low as 2000 feet (chaff), sonic booms emitted as low as 5000 feet

- Perpetual threat of fires ignited by flares to local Tribal Lands, other rural communities, and conservation areas together sheltering over 70 sensitive/at-risk species, including 14 endangered species; plus avian breeding grounds utilized by a raptor population presumed to be the highest combined density/diversity on the planet

- Withdrawal or reduction 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 drifting and broken-down particles of aluminium-coated glass fibres (chaff), unknown effects to humans from posible respiration of drifting/degraded chaff

- Chronic shock from sonic booms plus other noise pollution, to humans, horses, and wildlife

- Risks to protected archeological and geological sites, and interference with esteemed regional astronomy

We urge the public to contact elected officials regarding this threat. The Sky Islands are historically sacred to Southwest Native Nations, internationally revered in biology and astronomy research, and a 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