The US Forest Service just announced they are rescinding the Resolution Copper Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and the Draft Record of Decision on the project!
This halts the land exchange until a new FEIS is published.
This is wonderful news and although there is still much to do to protect Oak Flat and the surrounding precious lands, we should take time out to thank and remember everyone that has worked so hard to protect Oak Flat and prepare for the final effort to make sure Oak Flat remains free forever!
Tribal and conservation groups asked a federal judge today to block a land trade that would hand over thousands of acres in the Tonto National Forest in central Arizona to multinational mining company Rio Tinto for the massive Resolution Copper mine. The Oak Flat area, considered sacred by Apache and other Native people, would be destroyed by the mine.
PHOENIX— Tribal and conservation groups sued the U.S. Forest Service today to stop a land trade that would hand over thousands of acres in the Tonto National Forest in central Arizona to a London-based mining company. The Oak Flat area, considered sacred by Apache and other Native people, would be destroyed by multinational mining company Rio Tinto for a massive copper mine.
Please sign your organization onto a letter urging President Joe Biden to immediately withdraw the recently issued Final Environmental Impact Statement, Resolution Copper Project and Land Exchange (EIS 20210005) that will facilitate a land exchange and construction of the Resolution Copper mine, resulting in the destruction of a Native American sacred area, Oak Flat or Chi’chil Bildagoteel.
“With Arizona entering its 21st year of a long-term drought and the potential to pollute and deplete the town of Superior’s water supply, how can anyone let this happen, considering it would be a failed mining experiment? The east valley municipalities of Queen Creek, Gilbert, and San Tan area beware, this project would wipe out your water supply. The project itself will consume 40,000 acre feet of water a year which is the same as Tempe, Arizona, which has a population of 180,000 people.”
In the wake of Rio TInto’s destruction of sacred rock shelters in the Juukan Gorge in Western Australia in May of 2020, Rio Tinto has made grand pronouncement of how they would never again destory a sacred site anywhere in the world. In light of the caompany’s plan to do exactly that at Oak Flat, what does Rio Tinto’s promises mean?
We’ve written a white paper looking at the similarities between what Rio Tinto did at Juukan Gorge and what they would like to do at Oak Flat.
We need your help to keep Oak Flat in public ownership for everyone to enjoy. If you live in the United States you have additional opportunities to protect Oak Flat by contacting the US Forest Service. No matter where you live, please send an email to Simon Thompson, the Chairman of the Board of Rio Tinto, and ask him to not steal Oak Flat and to abandon the project.