Plans to create a wildlife sanctuary on Freeport-McMoRan land are moving forward.
The Arizona Center for Nature Conservation and the Phoenix Zoo have leased 1,120 acres near Pima Mine Road east of Interstate 19 to create a conservation management center.
“This has been a goal of the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation for quite some time,” ACNC President and CEO, Bert Castro said in a release. “It will continue to take time to build out the land for our needs, which are ultimately to house, breed, care for and reintroduce to the wild, critically endangered species. Given Arizona’s harsh climate, it allows us the opportunity to work with arid species who will thrive in this region. We are considering species such as oryx, gazelles and addax, all who have a great conservation need and would benefit from the bolstering of populations through the reintroduction of animals to the wild.”
The land is near Sahuarita and the lease is for 50 years.
The ACNC will begin site-planning studies within the coming months. The park will serve as an extension to breeding and restoration programs nationwide.