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The Arizona Mining Reform Coalition is comprised of Arizona groups and individuals that work to ensure that responsible mining contributes to healthy communities, a healthy environment, and, when all costs are factored in, is a net benefit to Arizona. The Arizona Mining Reform Coalition expects the mining industry to clean up after itself, comply fully with the spirit of safeguards in place to protect Arizona, and to interact in a transparent and open manner with Arizona citizens.

Last chance to help us out in 2017

As the clock ticks down, you have only 48 (or so) hours left in 2017 to help us do all we need to do in 2018.  You are critical to the success of our efforts.

The only thing standing in the way of irresponsible mining company’s plans to destroy precious public lands (with the assistance of increasingly lax federal and state mining laws) is the support of folks like you who share our passion for protecting our communities and the environment.

I’m asking you to act today by making a generous tax-deductible gift to the Arizona Mining Reform Coalition.

Your generosity will help us immediately to:

  • Continue to protect Oak Flat against the proposed assault by Rio Tinto and BHP.  We will battle on the federal and state levels and in the courts.  We will educate decision-makers why they must reverse the Oak Flat land exchange. 
  • Continue our work to protect the jaguars, ocelot, and other endangered species that live in the Santa Rita Mountains from the proposed Rosemont mine.  We are working on the federal and state levels and in the courts.  We have sued the US Forest Service for illegally approving the Rosemont mine plan.
  • Continue our work to protect Arizona’s precious waters from proposed in-situ copper mines that, if we are not successful, are sure to pollute aquifers upon which we all depend.
  • Stopping new and dangerous proposals by the state of Arizona to take over the federal government’s programs that regulate the dredging and filling of waters of the United States and programs that regulate underground injection wells used by mining companies to inject dangerous chemicals into aquifers.

We have a mountain of work ahead of us, but with your help, nothing is impossible when we all stand together to protect the rights of vulnerable communities and the natural places we love.

Due to the new federal tax bill just signed into law, this may be the last year you can fully deduct donations to the Arizona Mining Reform Coalition.  If you need an additional incentive to donate, this is it.  Donate now just in case!

Thank you for your support and assistance. 

Sincerely, 

Roger Featherstone, Director

Please visit our convenient online donation page and give generously. If you'd rather send a check, you will find instructions on the donation page as well. Have a wonderful New Year!


Ask your Congresspeople to Co-sponsor the Save Oak Flat Act

On June 15, 2017, the Save Oak Flat Act was introduced in the US House of Representatives and the US Senate.  The Bills would repeal Section 3003 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015 and keep Oak Flat in public ownership.

Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) introduced the US House version, HR 2915, with 30 cosponsors from both parties. 

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced S 1375, the Senate version of the Save Oak Flat Act with four cosponsors, Senators Merkley (D-OR), Wyden (D-OR), Heinrich (D-NM), and Booker (D-NJ).

The success of the Save Oak Fat Act is very important for the protection of Oak Flat. 

Please contact your Representative asking him/her to cosponsor HR 2915 and your Senators to cosponsor S 1375.  (If your Congressional delegation members are already cosponsors, please thank him/her for helping to protect Oak Flat).

Attend Forest Service Workshops March 21 & 22

If Rio Tinto gets its way, Benson Spring would be buried under 1.6 billion tons of toxic waste!If Rio Tinto gets its way, Benson Spring would be buried under 1.6 billion tons of toxic waste!Attend public workshops in Superior and Gilbert to tell the Forest Service to protect Oak Flat

The Tonto National Forest is holding public workshops in Superior, AZ, on March 21 and Gilbert, AZ, on March 22. Each workshop runs from 5:00 to 8:00. Please attend these workshops to show the Forest Service that Rio Tinto’s plans to destroy 7,000 acres of public land, including Oak Flat, to build a toxic mine are unacceptable. The Forest Service is hosting workshops to:

  1. update the public on the status of the EIS process
  2. describe the alternatives development process, and
  3. solicit input on the criteria being used to evaluate alternative tailings storage facility locations.  

Comment on Rio Tinto's ADEQ water permit renewal

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has proposed to renew Rio Tinto's current water quality permits to discharge polluted mine water being drained from mining shafts on the company's private property near Oak Flat.  

You are invited to comment now on the permit renewal.  The comment deadline is September 7, 2016.

Please submit comments now.

Tell the Forest Service why a mine at Oak Flat is a bad idea today!

Endangered Arizona Hedgehog CactusEndangered Arizona Hedgehog CactusJuly 18, 2016, is the deadline for scoping comments on Rio Tinto’s plan to destroy Oak Flat by building a dangerous mine.

Please send the Forest Service comments to help them understand why Rio Tinto’s proposal is untenable for so many reasons.

The comment deadline is July 18, 2016.

For the last day, the Forest Service is accepting scoping comments to help them prepare a draft Environmental Impact Statement.  This is a chance for you to tell the Forest Service why this proposal is so bad, and why it is so important to protect Oak Flat.

Comment on Rio Tinto's Proposed Mine at Oak Flat

Oak Flat scale modelOak Flat scale modelThe Tonto National Forest has began the permitting process for Rio Tinto's proposed mine at Oak Flat on March 18, 2106.  The first step in the process is a 60 day scoping comment period running from March 18 - May 17.  During this period, the public will  provide comments to the Forest Service to help them identify the issues that should be studied and included when they write a Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

The Forest Service has scheduled 4 open houses to explain Rio Tinto's mining plan and to take public comments.  Those meetings all take place from 5:00 - 8:00 PM.

They are:

  • March 31, Queen Valley Recreation Hall, 1478 East Queen Valley Drive, Queen Valley.
  • April 4, Superior High School, 100 Mary Drive, Superior.
  • April 5, Elks Lodge, 1775 East Maple Street, Globe.
  • April 6, Southwest Regional Library, 775 North Green Field Road, Gilbert.

Upcoming Oak Flat public meetings

Oak Flat scale modelOak Flat scale model

The Tonto National Forest is planning to begin the first phase of the permitting process for Rio Tinto's proposed destructive mine at Oak Flat, associated toxic tailings dump, and other facilities in the near future.  The first phase of the process is called scoping and will begin with a publc comment period for input into what issues the Tonto National Forest should address when they write a Draft Environmental Impact Statement.   While the Forest Service is jumping the gun on the scoping process as they do not have current and complete information about Rio Tinto's current plans, we urge everyone to take part in the process.

The Concerened Citizens and Retired Miners Coalition has commissioned several 3D scale models showing what Rio Tinto's current plans look like in graphic and accurate detail.  These models will be featured at a series of upcoming public meetings we are taking part in to help the public prepare for the scoping process.

Please attend one of these meetings.  (More are being scheduled and this page will be updated to reflect the current schedule.)  If you'd like to host a meeting, please let us know.

February 19 - Queen Valley
7:00 pm
Queen Valley Rec Hall, Main Street, Queen Valley

March 3 - Gold Canyon
7:00 pm
Best Western Gold Canyon Inn and Suites at 8333 E. Sunrise Sky Drive, Gold Canyon AZ 85118.  (Highway 60 and King’s Ranch Road.) 

The models can also be viewed at Oak Flat Campground on the afternoon of February 27 and on February 28 after the March to Oak Flat arrives.

Please Attend Oak Flat Anniversary March

Apache Stronghold, one of our Coalition member groups,  will be hosting an Anniversary March from the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation to Oak Flat.  Please attend and help spread the word.  Take a look at the flyer for more information.

For more than a year, Apache Stronghold has been encamped at Oak Flat to protect it from Rio Tinto's distructive mining plans.

 

Please Make a Donation to Support our Work

Please donate to continue our important work!

A year ago, the Oak Flat land exchange was signed into law after Rio Tinto's Congressional allies took advantage of a perfect storm and added the exchange as a rider onto an unrelated bill. 

Rio Tinto hoped this backdoor deal would be a fatal blow to our efforts to protect Oak Flat.  

How wrong they were! In the last year: 

  • Our strength and determination has increased exponentially. 
  • Oak Flat remains in public ownership. 
  • The permitting process, a prerequisite for privatization of Oak Flat has not yet begun and not one shovel has bit the ground to determine whether Rio Tinto's toxic tailings location is even suitable. 
  • Bills to repeal the Oak Flat land exchange are building strength in the US House and the Senate. 

Senate Version of Save Oak Flat Act Introduced

On November 5, 2015, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced a bill in the US Senate to repeal the Oak Flat land exchange (Section 3003 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015). Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) are original co-sponsors of the bill.  The number of the new bill is S. 2242 and is a companion bill to the House version (H.R. 2811) introduced in June, 2015 by Representative Grijalva (D-AZ) which now has 36 co-sponsors.

The new Senate bill is another example of growing support for the repeal of the Oak Flat land exchange which would give US public land at Oak Flat to a foreign mining company.  Oak Flat is sacred and an ecological and recreational haven.

you can see a copy of S. 2242 here.

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Dr. Radut