Please contact your Members of Congress to introduce the Save Oak Flat Act
Please ask your members of Congress to support and co-sponsor the Save Oak Flat Act when it is reintroduced in the House and Senate in 2021 to right a wrong, protect the religious freedom of Indigenous people, save an important recreational area, and protect the plants and animals that inhabit this biologically rich part of the Tonto National Forest.
The Save Oak Flat Act will correct Section 3003 of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act; which currently allow the US government to give Oak Flat, a sacred recreational and ecological haven, which is US public land, to foreign mining companies.
The last versions of the Save Oak Flat Act, HR 665, introduced by Congressman Grijalva (D-AZ), and S 173, introduced by Senator Sanders (I-VT), were introduced in the 116th Congress, but expired when that Congress expired in January of 2021.
Section 3003 of the land exchange was added to the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act at the last minute in the dead of night because the supporters of the exchange were repeatedly unable to pass the bill as a stand-alone measure.
The Tonto National Forest released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement in 2019. It details some of the harm the mine will cause. The proposed Resolution Copper Mine will:
- create a crater roughly two miles wide and 1,000 feet deep right there at Oak Flat due to subsidence of the land,
- dump nearly 1.4 billion tons of toxic mining waste into an unlined tailings dump — the preferred alternative tailings site will ultimately cover six square miles with a dam 490 feet high,
- use more water annually than the City of Tempe, AZ, a minimum of 50,000 acre-feet per year, and
- permanently destroy about 16,000 acres of public land, state trust land, and private land.