This letter supplements our much more detailed comments dated October 19, 2012, regarding the proposed designation of critical habitat in for jaguar in the United States. Per the instructions in the July 1, 2013 Federal Register notice announcing a reopening of the comment period for a revised proposal, we are not resubmitting or reiterating those comments.
We continue to strongly support the designation of critical habitat for jaguar, including the Santa Rita Mountain range and associated habitat and corridor linkages to other habitat units Clearly, the Santa Ritas are prime habitat for jaguars as attested to by both historical government records of presence in the mountains and quite recent documentation of at least one jaguar in the Santa Rita Mountains. We note that the recent presence of jaguar in the Santa Ritas has contributed to a better understanding of the physical and biological features required for jaguar habitat.
The one specific recommendation we would like to add to our previous comments is to consider expanding proposed Subunit 4b to encompass the entire Davidson Canyon area north and south of Interstate 10 to provide connectivity to the Patagonia and Whetstone subunits as well as within Rincon-Whetstone-Santa Rita unit.
Thank you for your consideration of these comments. We are submitting separate comments on the draft economic analysis.