Save Tonto National Forest was created to protect our national forest from the very destructive mining methods proposed by Resolution Copper, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto and BHP-Billiton.

On December 19, 2014, President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act.  Added to the bill was Senate Bill 339, which authorized congress to exchange land in the Oak Flat area to Resolution Copper for other lands in the state.  Oak Flats was put off limits to mining by President Eisenhower in 1955. This area is a sacred site and critical for the religious freedom of Arizona Native Americans.  Oak Flat is a prime recreational area and is very popular with climbers, hikers, bird watchers, campers, and ATV enthusiasts.

This version of the land exchange is the 13th since the bill was first introduced in Congress by convicted Congressman Rick Renzi in 2005.  Senator Flake, who previously worked for Rio Tinto at their uranium mine (co-owned by the Iranian government) in Namibia, acknowledged what we all knew, the bill could not pass the U.S. Congress on its own merits.1)http://www.nationaljournal.com/daily/flake-s-past-as-lobbyist-at-odds-with-his-image-20120417

The proposed “block cave” mining method, by Resolution’s estimation, will result in a crater 2 miles wide-1,000 feet deep, that would include the Oak Flat campground.2)http://tucson.com/news/resolution-copper-deal-elicits-celebration-outrage/article_f309681c-824d-11e4-836f-633a5855df7e.html There will be a tailing pile in Tonto National Forest, east of Robles Butte that will cover 6 square miles and 500 feet high.3)http://resolutioncopper.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/SUMMARY-CWG-Meeting-3-12-14.pdf

Forest trails that would be partially or totally closed down by the proposed tailing pile are as follow: FR252, FR 982, FR 518, FR1903, FR1907, FR1908, FR1909, FR1914, FR1915, FR1916, FR1917, FR1918, FR1919, FR2359, FR2360, FR2361, FR2362 and FR2364. Many more trails will be lost in the Oak Flat area. These trails are used by hikers, campers, hunters, ATV’s and UTV’s as they come from across Arizona to enjoy the beautiful Superstition Mountains.

The proposed tailing pile would most certainly contribute to water and air pollution in Queen Valley and Superior and for anyone using those areas.

Since this tailing pile would be on public land, the U.S. taxpayer would be responsible for it when the mine eventually closes down.

It is a fact that tourism far out-earns mining in Arizona and any loss of scenic lands is an economic loss.  Furthermore, Rio Tinto will pay no royalties to either Arizona of the U.S.4)http://www.azmining.com/article/rings-reflections-the-five-cs-impact-on-todays-arizona-economy and/or http://tucson.com/news/local/mining-company-says-it-s-committed-to-superior-s-success/article_9906ad93-edd4-59ae-82c1-f9a4aadd5b7b.html

To oppose the method of mining and tailing pile location and be notified at every opportunity to express your concerns (click here).

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