Congress has returned for a final session and some Senators may attempt to bundle the Oak Flat Land Exchange, S. 339, with other bills that deal with public lands.
Most of these bill are good bills, but adding the Oak Flat land exchange to the package would poison the entire bill.
S. 339 is a land exchange that foreign-owned Rio Tinto mining company has convinced Arizona members of Congress to introduce on their behalf, a giveaway of land that is sacred to the San Carlos Apache tribe. The bill would be the only bill in Congress that would give away a sacred site to a foreign corporation, would be the largest loss of recreational climbing on public lands, and would overturn a ban on mining at Oak Flat that was put in place by President Eisenhower.
This is nothing new. At the end of every Congress, Rio Tinto’s supporters in Congress try to bypass normal procedure by attaching the land exchange to an unrelated piece of legislation. They know they cannot pass the land exchange in the light of day, so they resort to these behind the scenes maneuvers.
We’ve helped to stop this bill before, now we need your help to do it again!
Tell your Senator that privatizing federally protected lands and turning them over to a foreign mining corporation without federal environmental review or public input isn’t right. Sacred sites, recreation and the sensitive ecological area surrounding Oak Flat are more important than a copper mine.