Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Fort Huachuca expansion can only hurt San Pedro River (Republic editorial)

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has abandoned its mission of protecting fish and wildlife along Arizona's last wild desert river, the San Pedro. In a biological opinion issued June 15, the Fish and Wildlife Service said Fort Huachuca's water conservation efforts have been so successful that the fort should be allowed to grow by 3,000 personnel - even though the river is shrinking because of growth linked to the fort. The conservation community applauds Fort Huachuca's conservation success, but we are shocked at the political science used by the Fish and Wildlife Service in allowing the fort to expand. San Pedro River stream flow continues to decline as excessive, inadequately mitigated, fort-related growth increases the groundwater pumping deficit. Indeed, since 2005 the San Pedro has twice gone dry in places where it has always flowed. So, if the river is even worse off, how could the Fish and Wildlife Serve conclude that the fort has made it better off? The answer is two-fold. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]