Get Involved


Additional Measures You Can Take to SAVE TONTO NATIONAL FOREST & OAK FLAT

1. Provide your email to the Arizona Mining Reform Coalition website to receive Action Alerts. Take action via email each time you are asked by the Coalition. Read and learn about Oak Flat issues on this site.

2.  Watch the 11-minute video on “Why Arizona’s Oak Flat Deserves Continued Protection from Copper Mining” available on You Tube to continue to educate yourself on this issue.

3.  Watch the video “An American Battle Cry” on www.kickstarter.com.

4.  Write to the U.S. Forest Service to let them know the proposed tailings pile site on Tonto National Forest land would cause significant destructive impacts in terms of water quality and quantity, air quality, health, real estate values, noise, and recreational opportunities and that you oppose use of these public lands for this purpose. In addition, ask to be put on their mailing list to be notified when they are ready to accept formal comments.

5.  Write to Interior Secretary, Sally Jewell, Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street, N.W., Washington DC 20240 

6.  Contact the National Park Service to add Oak Flat to the National Register of Historic Places on the basis that it is a Native American San Carlos Apache sacred site (the site of ceremonial tribal rituals including the sunrise ceremony commemorating a young woman’s coming of age). Native Americans compare Oak Flat to Mount Sinai, the Biblical site where Moses received the Ten Commandments. The area was deemed so important that both Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon preserved it by Executive Order to be preserved in perpetuity with special emphasis on prohibiting mining activities.

  • Paul Loether, National Register Program Manager, National Park Service, 1849 C Street NW Washington, DC 20240. Email: Paul_Loether@nps.gov. Phone: 202-354-2003

7.  Write a Letter to the Editor of the Arizona Republic and other pertinent newspapers.  You can submit your letter on this website:

Look at these websites for tips of writing a letter that will get published:

8.  Phone or write a letter to the White House asking for help on this issue.

  • The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500 Phone: (202) 456-1111

9.  Attend public meetings related to this issue.

 

Facts at your fingertips for letter-writing:

  • Rio Tinto is the parent company of Resolution Copper and both are foreign corporations. They seek to build a large underground copper mine under Oak Flat, just east of Superior, Arizona.1)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resolution_Copper – foreign ownership
  • The location of the proposed tailings pile is within the boundaries of the Tonto National Forest.  The western edge of the pile will only be 3.4 miles from Queen Valley.2)Map provided by Resolution Copper of the proposed tailings pile indicated its western edge would be at Roblas Canyon with Borrow Area 4 nearly at the point where Roblas Canyon and Queen Creek intersect.3)Google Map measurement from Roblas Canyon to Queen Valley Whitlow Dam is 2.462 mileshttps://www.google.com/maps/dir/33.2980493,-111.237352/Whitlow+Ranch+Reservoir/@33.304297,-111.254465,2287m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m8!4m7!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0x872a2d7a9b292cf5:0xec98f8e34d2ef73f!2m2!1d-111.2727653!2d33.2993789. Confirmed on page 52 of Arizona Detailed Topographic Maps-DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer
  • The proposed tailings pile site is located north of Highway 60 between Queen Valley and Superior, Arizona. There is another site Resolution has explored but which the State currently refuses to release to them on the southeast corner of Highway 60 and Highway 79 at Florence Junction.4)Per map provided by Resolution Copper indicating the proposed tailings pile will be between Roblas Canyon (FR 252) on the west, Potts Canyon (FR 2381) on the east, and Queen Creek (FR 357) on the south. The northern boundary is not marked by a natural geologic point or road, but Borrow Area 1, Diversion Channel 2, Diversion Channel 3, and the Starter Dam cover over a mile of FR 982.
  • The tailings pile would bury 6 square miles of desert and would be 500 feet high.5)Per Resolution Copper Mining’s General Plan of Operations Volume 1 Figure 1.5-4a: Tailings Storage Facility Surface Disturbance
  • The tailings pile and proposed mining method would destroy or block many recreational roads in the Tonto National Forest.6)Map provided by Resolution Copper.
  • The tailings pile would drain directly into Queen Valley via Queen Creek and is not proposed to be lined. Numerous similar piles have leaked many times (even when lined).  Per ADEQ, a liner is recommend for ground water protection.7)At public meetings in Queen Valley, Resolution Copper has stated there will be no liner to contain the tailings pile. There is no mention of a tailings pile liner in Resolution Copper’s November 15, 2013, General Plan of Operations. (tailings pile liner)

     

    Arizona Mining Guidance Manual – Sections 2.5.2 and 2.5.2.4 under liner specifications.

     

    http://dwb4.unl.edu/Chem/CHEM869R/CHEM869RLinks/emcbc.miningwatch.org/emcbc/library/amd_water.htm (tailings pile leaks)

     

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/tailings-pond-leaks-revealed-at-cassidy-lake-mine-site-1.2768759 (tailings pile leaks)

     

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/dec/11/radioactive-spill-similar-incident-at-rio-tinto-mine-days-earlier (radioactive tailings pile leak – Rio Tinto)

     

    http://critical-moment.org/2013/06/16/mining-resurgence-threatens-the-wild-u-p/   (Tailings pile leak – Rio Tinto. Excerpt: “In fact, there is no similar mine that does not leak sulfides, including Rio Tinto’s own Flambeau Mine in Wisconsin which is now appealing a Clean Water Act violation.”)

     

    http://www.wise-uranium.org/umoproe.html (tailings pile leaks – Rio Tinto)

     

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bingham_Canyon_Mine (landslides/earthquakes caused by Rio Tinto mine)

     

    http://www.livescience.com/42447-mine-landslide-triggered-earthquakes.html-landslides/earthquakes caused by Rio Tinto mine.

  • On a daily basis, the mine would use the same amount of water as Tempe (population 160,000).
  • Copper profits from the mine would not stay in Arizona or even the United States.
  • Prevailing winds would carry fine-particle, toxic tailings dust into Queen Valley and beyond.
  • The pile would be toxic, containing carcinogens & radioactive material (arsenic, uranium, and mercury, among many others).
  • The land swap snuck through Congress in the Defense Bill on December 19, 2014, privatizes Oak Flat and guts the heart from the National Environmental Policy Act by removing the “no action” alternative. The mining company wants you to believe they are going through the NEPA process and the required Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) but after they control our public lands, it is too little, too late and won’t be worth the paper it is printed on.

NEVER GIVE UP! This will be a long, slow battle. It will require many letters, many comments over an extended period of time. Thank you for everything you will do to protect Tonto National Forest, Queen Valley, Superior, Oak Flats, our water and air quality, our recreational opportunities, and our heritage – for us and future generations.

 

 

 

 

 

References   [ + ]

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resolution_Copper – foreign ownership
2. Map provided by Resolution Copper of the proposed tailings pile indicated its western edge would be at Roblas Canyon with Borrow Area 4 nearly at the point where Roblas Canyon and Queen Creek intersect.
3. Google Map measurement from Roblas Canyon to Queen Valley Whitlow Dam is 2.462 mileshttps://www.google.com/maps/dir/33.2980493,-111.237352/Whitlow+Ranch+Reservoir/@33.304297,-111.254465,2287m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m8!4m7!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0x872a2d7a9b292cf5:0xec98f8e34d2ef73f!2m2!1d-111.2727653!2d33.2993789. Confirmed on page 52 of Arizona Detailed Topographic Maps-DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer
4. Per map provided by Resolution Copper indicating the proposed tailings pile will be between Roblas Canyon (FR 252) on the west, Potts Canyon (FR 2381) on the east, and Queen Creek (FR 357) on the south. The northern boundary is not marked by a natural geologic point or road, but Borrow Area 1, Diversion Channel 2, Diversion Channel 3, and the Starter Dam cover over a mile of FR 982.
5. Per Resolution Copper Mining’s General Plan of Operations Volume 1 Figure 1.5-4a: Tailings Storage Facility Surface Disturbance
6. Map provided by Resolution Copper.
7. At public meetings in Queen Valley, Resolution Copper has stated there will be no liner to contain the tailings pile. There is no mention of a tailings pile liner in Resolution Copper’s November 15, 2013, General Plan of Operations. (tailings pile liner)

 

Arizona Mining Guidance Manual – Sections 2.5.2 and 2.5.2.4 under liner specifications.

 

http://dwb4.unl.edu/Chem/CHEM869R/CHEM869RLinks/emcbc.miningwatch.org/emcbc/library/amd_water.htm (tailings pile leaks)

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/tailings-pond-leaks-revealed-at-cassidy-lake-mine-site-1.2768759 (tailings pile leaks)

 

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/dec/11/radioactive-spill-similar-incident-at-rio-tinto-mine-days-earlier (radioactive tailings pile leak – Rio Tinto)

 

http://critical-moment.org/2013/06/16/mining-resurgence-threatens-the-wild-u-p/   (Tailings pile leak – Rio Tinto. Excerpt: “In fact, there is no similar mine that does not leak sulfides, including Rio Tinto’s own Flambeau Mine in Wisconsin which is now appealing a Clean Water Act violation.”)

 

http://www.wise-uranium.org/umoproe.html (tailings pile leaks – Rio Tinto)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bingham_Canyon_Mine (landslides/earthquakes caused by Rio Tinto mine)

 

http://www.livescience.com/42447-mine-landslide-triggered-earthquakes.html-landslides/earthquakes caused by Rio Tinto mine.

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