Pima County Board of Supervisors Chair, Adelita Grijalva, released a statement regarding the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s intention to list the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl as a threatened species.

Chair Grijalva highlighted Pima County’s proactive efforts in creating a conservation land management system to ensure both development and environmental preservation.

With the County’s established plans and permits, the listing of the pygmy owl is expected to proceed smoothly without land-use conflicts experienced in the past.

The listing of the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl on the Endangered Species List in the 1990s created uncertainty about where and how our area could grow. Pima County took the lead on creating a system of conservation land management to provide our region more development certainty, balancing the conservation of our fragile desert with our communitys need to grow and prosper. County voters in 2004 overwhelmingly endorsed this plan by approving more than $100 million in bond funding for sensitive land acquisition.”

Pima County now owns or manages sensitive areas covering more than a quarter million acres. Relisting of the pygmy owl and any critical habitat designated for it won’t result in land-use conflicts like those of the 1990s and early 2000s in part to the County’s landmark Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, companion Multi-Species Conservation Plan, and Section 10 Permit from the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Pima County’s commitment to its Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan remains strong as it continues to protect and preserve endangered species habitats.