Finding of No Significant Impact Issued for Tower Construction at Montezuma Pass

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Date: January 12, 2017

Hereford, AZ – The National Park Service (NPS) has prepared a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the Installation of Tower (TCA-SON-062) in Coronado National Memorial by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. NPS Intermountain Regional Director Sue Masica signed the FONSI on December 22, 2016.
 
In September 2008, in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) prepared the Proposed SBInet Tucson West Project Ajo, Tucson, Casa Grande, Nogales, and Sonoita Stations Areas of Operation, U.S. Border Patrol, Tucson Sector, Arizona Environmental Assessment (EA). This EA examined alternative actions and environmental impacts associated with the proposed project to install towers as part of the SBInet Tucson West Project - Ajo, Tucson, Casa Grande, Nogales, and Sonoita Stations Areas of Operation (AOR), U.S. Border Patrol Tucson Sector, Arizona. The program is now known as Integrated Fixed Towers (IFT). CBP approved a FONSI on September 17, 2008, governing implementation of their actions. The purpose of the project is to employ technological infrastructure with the ability to provide a more efficient and effective means of assessing border activities.
 
The purpose of the NPS FONSI is to formally adopt the 2008 EA and to specifically document the decision by the NPS to issue a Special Use Permit (SUP) to CBP for the construction of Tower TCA-SON-062 at Montezuma Pass within the park. The SUP will not authorize operation and maintenance of the tower. Pending completion of the Right of Way (ROW) permit application process by CBP, the NPS will issue CBP a ROW to implement operations and maintenance for the next 10 years. This ROW will be issued pending further consultation between CBP and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on effects of maintenance and operations to the Jaguar critical habitat and the yellow-billed cuckoo.
 
The NPS has determined that the EA complies with all NEPA-related requirements applicable to the NPS. Therefore, the NPS adopted the EA without recirculating it (40 CFR 1506.3, 43 CFR 46.320). The statements and conclusions reached in this FONSI are based on documentation and analysis provided in the EA, the Biological Opinion (BO [AESO/SE 22410-2008-F-0373]) issued by the USFWS, subsequent information and analyses completed after publication of the original 2008 EA, and the associated decision file. The approved FONSI is on file at park headquarters and can be found at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/CORO.
 
Together, the EA and FONSI represent the National Park Service’s approved action to issue a SUP for the construction of Tower TCA-SON-062 within the park.
 
For additional information, please contact Chief of Resource Management Michael Holt, at 520-824-3560 x9204.
 



Last updated: January 12, 2017

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