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

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

July 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

Comment on Rio Tinto’s Proposed Mine at Oak Flat

The 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.
Please Attend Oak Flat Anniversary March

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.

 

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

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

Please contact your Members of Congress today and ask them to cosponsor the Save Oak Flat Act to repeal Section 3003 of the National Defense Authorization Act.

Last December in the closing days of the 113th Congress in the dead of night, Rio Tinto’s Congressional supporters stuck the Oak Flat land exchange onto a must past national defense bill.  The land exchange became Section 3003 of the defense bill.  Section 3003 has nothing to do with national defense, but Rio Tinto’s supports knew that the land exchange would not pass on its own. 

In June of this year, Congressman Grijalva from Arizona introduced HR 2811, the Save Oak Flat Act, which will repeal Section 3003 and keep Oak Flat as public land.  As of now, 36 members of Congress from both parties have cosponsored this bill. 

With your help, that number will grow and the bill will pass and protect Oak Flat!

Thanks,
Roger Featherstone, Director

Ask your Representative to Cosponsor the Save Oak Flat Act

Ask your Representative to Cosponsor the Save Oak Flat Act

Please contact your Congressional Representative today and ask him/her to cosponsor the Save Oak Flat Act to repeal Section 3003 of the National Defense Authorization Act.

Last December in the closing days of the 113th Congress in the dead of night, Rio Tinto’s Congressional supporters stuck the Oak Flat land exchange onto a must past national defense bill.  The land exchange became Section 3003 of the defense bill.  Section 3003 has nothing to do with national defense, but Rio Tinto’s supports knew that the land exchange would not pass on its own. 

Sign a Comment Letter to acknowledge Oak Flat’s Cultural & Historic Importance

Sign a Comment Letter to acknowledge Oak Flat’s Cultural & Historic Importance

The National Park Service is accepting comments about placing Oak Flat on the list of National Historic Places as a Traditional Cultural Property because of its sacredness and significance to Native American Tribes. 

The nomination would list Oak Flat as a Traditional Cultural Property on the National Register of Historic Places.  (Note that the nomination uses the Apache name for Oak Flat, Chi’chil Bildagoteel.)

Please take action and sign a letter to the National Park Service (who is responsible for making the final decision on adding Oak Flat to the list) to help protect Oak Flat.

The deadline for you to sign the letter is noon (Arizona Time) on Monday, June 29, so act now. 

Come to Oak Flat May 30 – 31

Come to Oak Flat May 30 – 31

Come to Oak Flat May 30 – 31 to protect Oak Flat

The Apache Stronghold will be hosting a concert, and spiritual and educational events this weekend at Oak Flat. 

A concert featuring traditional Apache songs and Native American musicians will begin at 11:00 am on Saturday May 30 at Oak Flat.  Entertainment will continue all afternoon and culminate with Apache Mountain Spirit Dancers (around 5:00). 

Sunday’s events will begin at 8:00 am with a traditional Apache Holy Ground ceremony.  Holy Ground will be followed by concurrent educational and action events including an art project, an eco tour, a spiritual tour, and an Apache community meeting. 

All events are free and open to the public.  Everyone is encouraged to attend.

Meals will be provided, but bring warm clothes (for the evening), sun protection (during the day), and a chair.  Bring camping equipment if you plan to camp overnight. 

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.  

Background
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. 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. 

For more information
Comment on Rio Tinto’s Proposed Toxic Tailings Site Drilling Plan

Comment on Rio Tinto’s Proposed Toxic Tailings Site Drilling Plan

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.

Gather at Oak Flat, Saturday, February 7

Gather at Oak Flat, Saturday, February 7

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. 

Background
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.