Freeport-McMoRan Inc.

Cyprus Tohono Corporation

Casa Grande, Arizona, United States

Certified Gold through 2022

Project Name
Project Type
California Leaf-Nosed Bat management
Bats
Buffelgrass monitoring and management
Invasive Species
Environmental education on invasive Buffelgrass
Awareness & Community Engagement
Pollinator education & outreach: Range Day & Earth Day events
Awareness & Community Engagement
About the Program
Cyprus Tohono Corporation (CTC), a subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan, operates a mine and copper extraction facility that is approximately 32 miles south of Casa Grande, Arizona. Located across 10,500 acres of Tohono O'odham Nation lands, the site is comprised of Sonoran Desert vegetation, reclaimed mining areas and areas still actively used by the mines. The CTC team recognizes the importance of reclamation areas and mine features in ensuring the continued conservation of biodiversity in this area. Because of this, the team manages 550 acres of reclamation land, provides suitable habitats for wildlife and works with the local community to promote environmental literacy.

Practices and Impacts
  • The team is actively involved in the removal of an invasive species of plant, buffelgrass, on their site. This reduces fire risk to native vegetation communities. Quarterly, 550 acres are inspected, and invasive plants are removed. Starting in 2016, the team also began using an application to gather and update spatial data on buffelgrass distributions while in the field, further streamlining their ability to monitor and manage this invasive species.
  • Partnering with the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, the team creates opportunities to educate the public and employees about the biology, identification and mitigation efforts of buffelgrass. Reaching over 85 individuals annually through community events and educational brochures, these efforts are integral to the success of the team's invasive species control project.
  • The team regularly engages with local students at community events, such as Youth Range Day and Earth Day, to provide opportunities to learn about native pollinators and pollinator conservation.
  • Since 2007, the CTC team provides a safe roosting site for native California leaf-nosed bats living along their decant pipeline. In partnership with Bat Conservation International, the bat populations are actively monitored and counted. As of August 2018, over 1,500 bats were observed living in the on-site colony. Evidence of successful reproduction was also noted. This is a large increase in population since the first survey in 2007 where 335 individual bats were counted.

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