Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Oak Flat Campground in Peril

  Photo by Anna Jeffrey

Help save Oak Flat Campground (near Boyce Thompson Arboretum)!  Oak Flat is a key birding area, four of the many bird species sighted there are on the National Audubon Society’s watch list of declining species: Black-chinned sparrow, Costa’s hummingbird, Lewis’s woodpecker, and Gray vireo.

A foreign-owned mining company is proposing a land swap in the United States Congress to acquire Oak Flat.  Fellow birder Kathe Anderson has put together an excellent letter asking that an Environmental Impact Statement be prepared and subject to public review, as required of all other major federal decisions. Please copy, sign, and send the letter below on to your congressmen, and John Boehner, and Nancy Pelosi.  For their contact information, click here.

A Not-So-Simple Exchange: Why Arizona's Oak Flat Deserves
Continued Protection From Copper Mining | by Elias Butler

Kathe Anderson's letter, which she is sharing:

Dear Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi,

                We all know how important copper is for modern technology.  Perhaps we could support the Oak Flat land swap that’s the subject of H.R. 687, the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange Act. But we can’t, at least not now, because without a thorough Environmental Impact Statement review before the mining starts, we don’t know the repercussions.  In fact, we feel that we don’t know much about this entire project.

·         Why is Resolution Copper, a foreign-owned corporation, allowed to by-pass our environmental laws until after the exchange is done and exploratory mining has begun?
                We don’t know.
·         Why are the water tables of nearby Superior and Queen Valley already falling dramatically?
                We don’t know.
·         Why would the House defeat a request to protect the quality and quantity of water relied upon by local citizens?
                We don’t know.
·         What will the impact of the mining activity be on the lands and cultural resources of the San Carlos Apache and Navajo nations?
                We don’t know.
·         Why would the House defeat a request that sacred sites be excluded from the exchange?
                We don’t know.
·         Where will the promised jobs actually be located?
                We don’t know.
·         Why would the House defeat a request that the promised jobs will benefit the local community?
                We don’t know.
·         Where will the accumulated wealth from the mine be spent—here in the United States or in foreign lands where Resolution Copper is headquartered?
                We don’t know.
·         Why is this copper mine project so important when the income to Arizona from this mine will be so much less than the income from tourism (including tourists to the very spots the mine will destroy)?
                We don’t know.
·         What are Resolution Copper’s mitigation plans for any damages to the environment used by wildlife, recreationists and Native Americans?
                We don’t know.
·         Why are we being kept in the dark?
                We don’t know.

                Please require that an Environmental Impact Statement be prepared and subject to public review, as required of all other major federal decisions.  Thank you.

Concerned voters:

A Vermilion Flycatcher at Oak Flat Campground.  Photo by Anna Jeffrey

Special thanks go to Kathe Anderson for taking action, keeping us birders
informed, and sharing her direct-to-the-point letter!

To learn more go to Arizona Mining Reform

Be sure to like the FB page Saving OAK FLAT Campground 

Latest News -  Earth Island Journal


  1. Nice!! I went to Pelosi's blog and there was no way to email her from there. I guess she doesn't want any input from us.

  2. This is a case of foreign money vs sacred land. Many US politicians and citizens have sold their vision and common sense to this British invasion. And to those of us who have not allowed ourselves to be blindsided this is very heart felt. I fear that eventually that when the push comes to shove. A violent history will repeat itself again rather than learning from it. It has already started in some places around the world. If we allow Rio Tinto to push their way through this door you can expect more sovereign doors to be unhinged. Think About it!


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