The Arizona Daily Star last month reported that:
“a 480-acre retired farm on the
“Because of its closeness to the San Pedro and the amount of water the retired farmland once used, the Sandlin property is crucial to the river and, in turn, neighboring Fort Huachuca, which is under court order to cut water consumption in and around the river.
“The fort’s future and the future of the San Pedro are inextricably linked,” said Col. Jonathan Hunter, the fort’s garrison commander.”
Bill Hess of the Sierra Vista Herald/Review wrote yesterday that, “The land involved in the swap has been put back on the market. [emphasis added] Some believe that if it is sold to a developer or to an agricultural business, water will again be pumped to the detriment of the river and the partnership’s goal of finding ways to conserve water."The Herald reports that the water deficit in the Upper San Pedro Basin - the difference between what is being pumped from the aquifer and what is being recharged – is 10,800 acre-feet, instead of the previously measured 7,700 acre-feet, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The higher number is due to better quality measurements.
This double whammy will make it harder to meet the region's water goals.
Another twist on these complex deals is a recent Wall Street Journal story that described the land deal role in the Resolution copper mine:
“North America's largest copper lode is believed to be buried more than a mile beneath Apache Leap, the stark red cliffs that loom above this storied Old West town about an hour east of
In exchange for supporting the bill, the local congressman, Rick Renzi, a Republican, insisted on something in return: He wanted Resolution to buy, as part of the land swap, a 480-acre alfalfa field near his hometown of
Resolution executives refused. For starters, they thought the land was overpriced, people close to the deal say. More troubling, they discovered it was owned by Mr. Renzi's former business partner, these people say.
Resolution wasn't the only party troubled by the congressman's demands. His chief of staff resigned and began cooperating secretly with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to witnesses and others close to the case. The FBI began a preliminary inquiry that was first reported in October, just before Mr. Renzi was elected to a third term.”