Read the full story from the Center for Investigative Reporting.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last month lifted its longstanding objections to the construction of a city-sized development that threatens the last free-flowing major river in the arid Southwest.
The San Pedro is a vital resource in the parched Sonoran Desert, sustaining some 400 species of migratory birds. The agency twice in recent years had warned that a key federal permit to build 28,000 homes, golf courses and other amenities near the San Pedro River in southern Arizona would have “appreciable” effects on wildlife. It cited substantial scientific research warning of risks to rare species such as the jaguar and yellow-bellied cuckoo.