Peaceful Gila Skies

Stop Expansion of Military Pilot Training Above the Gila Wilderness

Air Force Proposes to Create Low-Level Supersonic Airspace Across Southeast Arizona/Southwest New Mexico

The U.S. Air Force wants to modify 10 existing Military Operations Areas (MOAs) that stretch across southern Arizona into southwest New Mexico as part of a plan for expansion of Special Use Airspace in the southwest region of the country. The proposal will authorize low-level fighter jet maneuvers and supersonic flights that cause sonic booms above rural and tribal communities, some of the Southwest’s most fragile sky-island ecosystems, and beloved wilderness areas and national monuments.

Link to the complete proposal here.

Federal public lands that could be affected by the Air Force proposal include four National Forests (Gila, Apache-Sit greaves, Tonto, Coronado), 12 US Forest Service Wilderness Areas; 19 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wilderness Areas, 8 BLM Wilderness Study Areas,  28 BLM Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), 4 BLM Research Natural Areas (RNA); 1 BLM Riparian National Conservation Area (Gila Box); 4 National Wildlife Refuges (Buenos Aires, Leslie Canyon, San Bernardino, and Bill Williams River) and 2 National Monuments (Chiricahua National Monument and Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument). Additionally, 70 miles of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail could be affected.

A full Draft Environmental Impact Statement is due out in the Fall of 2023. Updates on the proposal coming soon!

Peaceful Gila Skies-AZ-SUA-Scoping Comments

Link to a Map of Affected Areas

A fact sheet on the overall proposal is available here.

A fact sheet about the threats to the Gila Wilderness, and the Gila & Apache Sitegraves National Forests here.

A fact sheet about the threats to southwest New Mexico and southeast Arizona is available here.

A Fact sheet about the threats to the Outlaw/Jackal MOAs (Apache Tribal Lands) is available here.

Peaceful Chiricahua Skies