San Carlos Apache Tribe: Copper mine threatens sacred lands

Chairman Terry Rambler and Vice Chairman John Bush of the San Carlos Apache Tribe explain their opposition to H.R.687, the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act, a bill that would allow a copper mine at a sacred site:
H.R. 687, the “Southeast Conservation and Land Exchange Act of 2013,” would give Resolution Copper Company permission for a block cave copper mine, 7,000 feet deep, in the Tonto National Forest. The mine would destroy an area set aside in 1955 by President Eisenhower that is sacred to the San Carlos Apache Tribe and other tribes. It would mandate the Secretary of Agriculture to transfer more than 2,400 acres of Oak Flat Campground and surrounding public land in the Tonto National Forest to the private, international mining giant. RCM is owned by Rio Tinto (PLC) United Kingdom and BHP Billiton Ltd. Australia. China also has an ownership interest in RCM. This bill goes before the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Natural Resources Committee on March 21, 2013.

The San Carlos Apache Tribe has led the opposition to the land exchange bill. “We, along with many tribes, and recreational and environmental organizations, have opposed this land swap and the mine for more than seven years. The mine would be an environmental disaster on an unprecedented scale and the job claims made by the copper company are unsubstantiated. As Apaches, we will continue to fight to preserve this land for us and for all Arizonans,” said Terry Rambler, Chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe.

Get the Story:
Terry Rambler and John Bush: Letter from Tribal leaders (The Apache Moccasin 3/20)

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