HR 687 is scheduled to come to the House floor today, November 13.
Please contact your Representative now and ask him/her to vote YES on the Lujan amendment to HR 687 and to vote NO on the Oak Flat land exchange (HR 687).
The Lujan amendment would prevent the Secretary of Agriculture from giving any sacred land to RIo Tinto.
The Oak Flat land exchange:
- Would be the only bill that would turn over a Native American sacred site on public land to foreign mining companies and is opposed by every Indian Tribe in the United States.
- Would be the largest loss of public lands recreational climbing opportunities in history and is opposed by the Access Fund and other organizations working to maintain recreational opportunities on public land.
- Bypasses the normal process of permitting mines on public lands, avoids the NEPA process, and would destroy wildlife habitat and clean water resources.
- Would benefit only two huge foreign mining companies at the expense of Arizona’s clean water, recreation, and economy.
The playing field has changed dramatically since this version of the Oak Flat land exchange was introduced in February. The land exchange is opposed by every Native American Tribe, village, and pueblo in the US and is widely opposed by conservation, recreation, faith, and historical preservation organizations. In addition, the towns of Superior and Queen Valley, the two towns nearest to Oak Flat, oppose the Oak Flat land exchange.
For the first time, Rio Tinto has admitted it may not go through with a mine at Oak Flat and has listed five reasons that a mine may never happen:
- The land exchange doesn't pass
- Rio Tinto does not receive permits for a mine
- Rio Tinto cannot find a suitable place to dump toxic tailings
- Rio Tinto does not have the support of local communities (through a "social license" to mine)
- Rio Tinto does not have the money for the project
With all these unanswered questions even within the company itself, it makes no sense for the US House of Representatives to approve a bill to give public land to a foreign mining company that may never use it!