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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.

Sign a Petition to Repeal the Oak Flat Land Exchange

High above the town of Superior a hour east of Phoenix, Arizona, lies Oak Flat.  Oak Flat campground was protected from mining by President Eisenhower in 1955 and is a rare desert riparian area with large oak trees, cool shade, year around water in pools and springs.  Oak Flat is sacred to Native American tribes and critical for religious freedom.  It is a recreational haven and popular for camping, hiking, rock climbing, and bridwatching.

Unfortunately, Oak Flat is under attack by two huge foreign mining companies that refuse to play by the rules in the quest for control this incredible place. 

On December 19, 2014, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law.  The bill contained the Oak Flat land exchange which gives Oak Flat to the mining companies.  

This midnight deal is the culmination of 10 years of work by Arizona’s Senators and some Congressmen at the behest of Rio Tinto, to subvert the will of not only Native American Tribes, conservation organizations, the Superior Town Council, and others, but the will of the United States Congress who has forcefully rejected the land exchange for nearly 10 years.

Oak Flat will not be turned over to Rio Tinto until 60 days after the publication of a Final Environmental Impact Statement.  Until that time, Oak Flat remains public land owned by all Americans free to be enjoyed and celebrated by all. 

During this time, we must all work together to demand that Congress correct its mistake and repeal Section 3003 of the National Defense Authorization Act.

Please sign this petition and do everything you can to protect Oak Flat.

Go to our action alert page to sign the petition.

You can go here for a copy of the petition you can print and circulate.  Mail or email it back to us when it is full.

Apaches Meet Forest Service at Oak Flat

Press Release

February 17, 2015

For Immediate Release 


Wendsler Nosie, Sr.,                                                   Vernelda Grant

(928) 475-2930                                                           (928) 961-3380 

Stills and video are available from the event.

An historic meeting took place today between Apache spiritual organization and the US Forest Service at Chich’il Bildagoteel (Oak Flat). 

President Obama signs land exchange into law signaling new phase in the protection of Oak Flat

On December 19, 2014, President Obama signed the National defense Authorization Act into law.  The bill contained the Oak Flat land exchange.  This particular version of the land exchange was the 13th since the bill was first introduced in Congress by convicted former Congressman, Rick Renzi in 2005.  Senator Flake, who previously worked for Rio Tinto at their uranium mine (co-owned by the Iranian government) in Namibia, acknowledged what we all knew, the bill could not pass the US Congress on its own merits.

New Oak Flat land exchange language is a non-starter

Rio Tinto's supporters changed the language of the Oak Flat land exchange in an attempt to make it more palatable fortheir colleagues and to curry additional support when they attached it as a rider to the  National Defense Authorization Act.  The Oak Flat land exchange is buried the defense bill (Page 1103 of the 1,600 page bill) as section 3003.  The bill has passed the House of Represenatives, but has not yet come up for a vote in the Senate.

One of Rio Tinto's supporters even went to far to imply that the Director of the Arizona Mining Reform Coalition is OK with the changes in the bill.  He knows better, and of course, nothing could be further from the truth.  The langauge changes are mostly greenwashing and are still a far cry from what is needed to protect Oak Flat.

We have prepared a fact sheet explaining why the changes in the bill fall far short of the mark.

Take a look at the fact sheet.

There is still time to contact your Senators and ask them to strip the Oak Flat land exchange from the National Defense Authorization Act.  For more information about how you can take action, go here.

Mount Graham Sacred Run Culminates at Oak Flat

The 23rd annual Mount Graham sacred run will take place this weekend on July 18 and 19.  The run will start near the top of Mount Graham on Friday July 18 and arrive at Oak Flat campground late afternoon on Friday.

Saturday, July 19th will be a day of Ceremony and prayer to celebrate the sacredness of Oak Flat and Mount Graham.

The run is being coordinated by the Spirit of the Mountain Runners, who are native peoples and their supporters committed to maintaining a traditional Native American way of life.  

All are welcome to come to Oak Flat Campground (just east of Superior off of Highway 60 -- follow the signs from Highway 60 to the campground).Oak Flat Sunrise DanceOak Flat Sunrise Dance

Schedule of events for Saturday:

8:00     Morning Blessing and Ceremony
11:00   Tribal leaders speak
12:00   Lunch
1:30     Speakers from all walks of life
4:00     Church service by Emmanuel Baptist Church Rev.
             Mendez from Winston Salem, NC
7:30     Social dancing

For more information see the press advisory.

You can follow the progress of the run by going to our twitter feed @Save_Oak_Flat

Coalition Scoping Comments Filed

Rio Tinto Proposed Tailings LocationRio Tinto Proposed Tailings LocationThe Arizona Mining Reform Coalition filed comments today to the US Forest Service (Tonto National Forest) on Rio Tinto's invasive testing plan for their proposed tailings location near Oak Flat.  According to Rio Tinto's current plans, this is the only location they are actively considering for dumping a Picket Post sized mountain of toxic tailings should they be allowed to mine under Oak Flat.

The comments were filed on behalf of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, the Access Fund, the Center for Biological Diversity, Concerned Citizens and Retired Miners Coalition, Concerned Climbers of Arizona, Earthworks, Environment Arizona, the Maricopa Audubon Society, Native Youth Unite, Save the Scenic Santa Ritas, Sierra Club -- Grand Canyon Chapter, Spirit of the Mountain Runners, Tucson Audubon Society, John Krieg and Roger Featherstone. 

Here is a copy of the comments.

Among the hundreds of comments were those submitted by the San Carlos Apache Tribe, the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, and the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona.

Rio Tinto Incomplete Mining Plan

Proposed Toxic Tailings SiteProposed Toxic Tailings Site

For nearly ten years, Rio Tinto has avoided divulging any real details of its proposed huge underground block cave mine under Oak Flat.  Instead, Rio Tinto has spent their time trying to convince the US Congress to pass special interest legislation that would privatize Oak Flat and avoid most of the federal process for permitting mine on public land.

Last November, in an effort to revive their floundering 12 version of the Oak Flat land exchange bill, Rio Tinto bowed to pressure from both sides, and released a mining plan.  Rio Tinto's PR since the release of the plan has been "we gave you the plan, now give us the land exchange."  

Please donate now to help us in 2014

Please make a charitable contribution to the Arizona Mining Reform Coalition.

Last year was a good year for us, but there is much more to do in 2014.  We need your financial support.  Please make a donation to the Arizona Mining Reform Coalition so we can continue our work to protect Oak Flat, the Santa Rita Mountains, and Arizona’s many lands and waters threatened by inappropriate  mining projects.

We have accomplished much in 2013:

Rio Tinto to release incomplete mining plan in ploy to force land exchange bill

Rio Tinto plans to submit a mining plan of operations to the US Forest Service early next week regarding their dream of building a mine at Oak Flat.  Curiously, Rio Tinto has stated that the plan will not be available to the public until next year!

Rio Tinto has gone to great lengths to avoid filing a plan since 2004, opting instead to cajole the US Congress to pass a bill giving them Oak Flat without detailing how destructive a mine at Oak Flat would be to sacred, ecologically critical, and recreationally important lands. 

The submitting of the plan is timed to jump start HR 687 in the US House of Representatives, which was stalled in October when the bill was poised for a vote on the House floor but was pulled by the House leadership.  The bill’s sponsors in the House were worried that the Lujan amendment (which forbids the Secretary of Agriculture from giving any sacred lands at Oak Flat to Rio Tinto) would pass, effectively scuttling the land exchange itself. The US Senate has scheduled a hearing on the Senate version of the bill, S 339 for November 20.

HR 687 to be voted on by House today. Act now to stop the bill!

HR 687 is scheduled to come to the House floor today, November 13.  Oak Flat (Please help us protect it!)Oak Flat (Please help us protect it!)

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.

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Dr. Radut