The US Forest Service is accepting comments on a preliminary Environmental Assessment of a plan of operations to conduct baseline hydrological and geophysical testing on their proposed toxic tailings location for Rio Tinto’s proposed mine at Oak Flat.
The deadline for comments in April 12, 2015.
Rio Tinto wishes to dump toxic tailings on public land managed by the US Forest Service north of Highway 60 between Superior and Queen Valley (roughly across the street for Boyce Thompson Arboretum). Rio Tinto wants to drill 16 groundwater testing and monitoring wells, 41 geotechnical drill holes, and 32 deep geotechnical test trenches. They want to “improve” more than 12 miles of Forest Service roads, use either illegal or user constructed roads, and go off road to disturb another 11 acres.
Saturday, February 7 will be a day of speakers, music, inspiration, and sharing to protect Oak Flat.
Please attend the gathering and to bring your friends, family, and colleagues.
Saturday will be a beautiful day in a beautiful place. It will be a great way to learn more about Oak Flat, why we are protecting it, and what you can do to help.
Oak Flat Campground is located south of US Highway 60, 4 miles east of Superior, AZ. You will see a Highway sign for the campground coming from either direction on Highway 60. Follow signs into the campground.
In December, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law. It included the Oak Flat land exchange, which allows for multi-national mining company, Rio Tinto, to move forward on a proposal for an enormous copper mine. The mine would decimate a piece of the Tonto National Forest of Arizona, including the popular recreation area, Oak Flat. While the environmental impacts of this project would reach generations into the future, the absolute disregard for indigenous rights to the area has made the call to action on Oak Flat a moral imperative.
The land near the Oak Flat Campground is a sacred site to the indigenous tribes in the area, including the Apache bands. The new law allows Rio Tinto a run-around to avoid complying with indigenous rights to the land. Activists have been working for many years on the issue and actions are being planned this winter throughout the region to raise awareness and stop the destruction of this wild and sacred space.