"The Corps’ good-faith action to put Vigneto’s development on hold while the Corps and (wildlife service) determine what additional environmental reviews and conditions are necessary is good news for the San Pedro River, and the communities and wildlife that rely on it," said Earthjustice attorney Chris Eaton. "This does not resolve our lawsuit, but is a step forward."
What's at Stake
Arizona's "River of Life", the San Pedro River is a remnant of a once extensive network of desert riparian corridors that traversed the Southwest.
Recognized as a world heritage natural area by the United Nations World Heritage program, the San Pedro River supports 400 species of birds (nearly half of the U.S. total), 100 species of butterflies, 83 species of mammals and 47 species of amphibians and reptiles.
The San Pedro is the Southwest's last surviving undammed desert river, threatened by local groundwater pumping that intercepts water that would ordinarily move from the aquifer seeping through the riverbanks to provide surface flow to the river. Reduction of the river’s flows have already adversely affected the riparian and wetland vegetation surrounding the river, as well as species dependent on riparian habitat.