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Biological Opinion for the Proposed Installation of 5.2 Miles of Primary Fence Near Lukeville, Arizona
Southwest Region, February 11, 2008
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The Arizona Ecological Services Office finalized the Biological Opinion for the Proposed Installation of 5.2 Miles of Primary Fence near Lukeville, Arizona on February 11, 2008.  The project, proposed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Border Patrol, includes the installation and maintenance of, as well as access to 5.2 miles of pedestrian fence and construction of a 0.65-mile access road over Sonoyta Hill on Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (OPCNM) in Pima County.  We consulted on project effects to Sonoran pronghorn (Antilocapra americana sonoriensis) and lesser long-nosed bats (Leptonycteris curasoae yerbabuenae).  In general, adverse effects to Sonoran pronghorn and lesser long-nosed bats are from habitat loss and disturbance associated with fence and road construction as well as from potential shifts and increases in illegal pedestrian and patrol activities on either side of the fence (no adverse effects to pronghorn will occur to the east of the fence, as pronghorn only occur to the west).  The fence may have a beneficial effect if it reduces illegal pedestrian activities and law enforcement pursuits within the ranges of the Sonoran pronghorn and lesser long-nosed bat; these benefits are most likely to accrue immediately north of the pedestrian fence in the Lukeville area.  CBP will implement a number of conservation measures to offset adverse effects to Sonoran pronghorn and lesser long-nosed bats, including salvaging all salvageable columnar cacti (lesser long-nosed bat food plants) within the project footprint and providing funding to restore 84 acres within OPCNM and fill a Sonoran pronghorn water for 10 years.  We reached a non-jeopardy conclusion with no anticipated take for both species.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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