This document was prepared to address new information obtained after the Biological Assessment (BA) for the proposed Rosemont Copper Project was submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on 8 June 2012 to initiate Section 7 Consultation under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The USFWS requested an extension on the completion of the Draft Biological Opinion (BO) on 29 August 2012; the extension was granted by the Coronado National Forest (the Coronado) on 12 September 2012. The draft BO is now expected on 5 November 2012, with a final BO expected on 20 December 2012, in accordance with the 12 September 2012 letter.
The purpose of this document is to provide an addendum to the June 2012 BA that provides information to the USFWS concerning differences between the proposed project as assessed in the June 2012 BA and the proposed project as currently being assessed through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. During a meeting between the Coronado, USFWS, SWCA Environmental Consultants (U.S. Forest Service [Forest Service] contractors), Rosemont Copper Company (Rosemont Copper), and WestLand Resources, Inc. (WestLand) (Rosemont Copper contractors), on 6 September 2012, the need for a supplement to the BA was discussed for a few reasons. First, the BA submitted in June 2012 assessed impacts specific to the Barrel Alternative, the preferred alternative identified by the Forest Supervisor in the October 2011 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). Since submittal of the June 2012 BA, the Coronado and Rosemont Copper have continued to refine and improve on the Barrel/preferred alternative, and it is this refined Barrel/preferred alternative that is being analyzed as the Coronado continues analysis to comply with NEPA. Furthermore, the USFWS recently proposed to designate critical habitat for Jaguar (Panthera onca) and has recently revised proposed critical habitat for Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extima).
SWCA Environmental Consultants. 2012g. Supplement to the Biological Assessment Proposed Rosemont Copper Mine Santa Rita Mountains Coronado National Forest. Project No. 11204. Prepared for U.S. Forest Service, Coronado National Forest. Submitted to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Tucson, AZ: SWCA Environmental Consultants. October.