Alex Hardee, Attorney, Rocky Mountain Office, Earthjustice: “For years the fort has evaded the Endangered Species Act by disregarding the science and relying on illusory water credits. We filed this lawsuit to put an end to this pattern and practice, and to force the U.S. Army and Fish and Wildlife Service to comply with the Endangered Species Act.”
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.
Stu Gillespie, Attorney, Earthjustice: “The Corps has not remedied the fatal flaws in its decision-making process. Its revised analysis contains even more contradictions and conclusory assertions than the prior flawed analysis. As a result, the Corps reissued the same permit for the Villages at Vigneto without ever analyzing the impacts of the proposed development on the San Pedro River. That’s downright inadequate and contrary to the law.”
High-Level Trump Appointee Sought Reversal On Arizona Development Near San Pedro River, Ex-Official Says
Stuart Gillespie, Attorney, Rocky Mountain Office, Earthjustice: “This is an egregious example of the Trump administration considering itself above the law.”
Dogged San Pedro River Advocate Files Lawsuit against Government to Uncover Settlement Talks on Local Water Rights
Stu Gillespie, Attorney, Rocky Mountain Office: “It’s hard not to come away from this [permit suspension] with the impression they have understood there are legal flaws in their permit that we identified in our lawsuit.”