Arizona Mining Inc. is committed to the protection of our native landscape including plants, animals, and the various ecosystems of the Southwest. This project is located within a region of the Madrean Pine-Oak Woodland, which receives approximately twice the annual rainfall of a desert. Our approach to protecting biodiversity is by conducting extensive research in order to monitor species and inform project decisions to limit impacts to those species. We also maintain comprehensive plans to concurrently rehabilitate and reclaim the area of disturbance. Since our project began, we have spent over US$4 million on intensive environmental studies.
Since 2012, Arizona Mining has continued to support surveys for the western yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus), a population that is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Surveys commissioned by Arizona Mining in the Patagonia Mountains were among the first to demonstrate that this bird is found in pine-oak forests. Prior to this effort, the cuckoo was thought to only inhabit large riverine systems with cottonwood/willow forests. These surveys in the Patagonia Mountains have greatly increased the understanding of the habitat requirements of the cuckoo at a time when government agencies are striving to further understand the life history and habitat needs of this bird.
Arizona Mining also supports plant diversity in the Patagonia Mountains. Since 2012, Arizona Mining has commissioned surveys for non-photosynthetic orchids in southeastern Arizona in the Hexalectris genus. These orchids do not rely on sunlight for energy, but rather have a symbiotic relationship with fungi that in turn feed on the roots of oak trees in pine-oak forests in southern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, and northern Mexico. These types of orchids and their complex relationships were once thought to be extremely rare in the Southwest. Surveys supported by Arizona Mining helped to identify several new locations of these orchids that have greatly expanded their known range. Data from these finding also continue to inform scientists evolving understanding of the life history, evolution, and habitat characteristics of these species.