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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.

Learn More about protecting the Grand Canyon from uranium mining.

See this video to learn why we should protect the Grand Canyon from uranium mining.  Comments are due May 4.

Grand Canyon Uranium Mining PSA from James Q Martin Media on Vimeo.

ADEQ Allows Mining on the Honor System

One would think that in Arizona, which has the worst mining laws and regulations of any state in the union, the mining industry would realize how good they’ve got it.  However, in their quest to mine fettered only by the limits of their own greed, min

ing companies carp as loudly as ever about being over-burdened and over-regulated to death.

Arizona 1 MineArizona 1 Mine


Mining companies trot out a list as long as your arm about how many reports and permits they are required to obtain.  However, given the track record of the mining industry in Arizona, there is a good reason for regulation – for nearly 150 years, mining in Arizona has proven to be a social and environmental nightmare.

The truth however, is far different.

January 2011 New Articles on Mining in Arizona

January has been a good month so far for news articles about mining in Arizona.  

Oak Flat Land Exchange Dead For Another Year

We Love Oak FlatWe Love Oak FlatThe 111th Congress is history as of last night, December 22.  As the final gavel banged, the current versions of the Oak Flat land exchange, S 409 and H.R. 4880 died.  Tribal leaders, conservation groups and recreationist fought the bills hard and that had a lot to do with the bills dying for a third straight Congress.

But ironically, the final blow for S 409 came from its own sponsor.  Senator John McCain had put a hold on 65 public lands bills and included S 409.  While we disagree with Senator McCain in stopping the 65 worthwhile bills, we are in complete agreement with his making sure that Oak Flat remains in public ownership.  We can only speculate as to why Senator McCain killed his own bill after all the (false) rhetoric about its being vital for the immediate restoration of Arizona’s (and to here Rio Tinto’s spin – the nation’s and maybe even the world’s) economy.  Whatever Senator McCain’s reason, we’ll take it.  Oak Flat and the surrounding area including Gaan Canyon, Apache Leap and Queen Creek canyon is simply to important for religious, ecological, and recreation values to be given to two foreign mining companies that made more than $6 Billion in profit last year.

Thanks to all who had a hand in defeating the Oak Flat land exchange and we welcome you back for the inevitable next onslaught brought to use by the courtesy of Rio Tinto!

Oak Flat land Exchange Still in Play! Help Needed Now!


Senator Reid has put  the Oak Flat land exchange (S 409) back in play.  So much for flying high over the weekend!  This morning, Senator Reid put a whole list of bills that had passed the Energy Committee out for an en banc vote under unanimous consent and then added another batch of bills that included the Oak Flat land exchange also for an en banc unanimous consent vote.

What this means is that if we can get one Senator to object to S 409 being added to the package or to put a hold on the bill, we can kill its inclusion under unanimous consent.  However, this needs to happen today or tomorrow morning at the earliest.

So, this is a last ditch plea to ask you to call any Senators you know and ask them to object to S 409 going to the Senate floor under unanimous consent. 

Should we fail to block the bill in the Senate, we may be able to head it off in the House, but that’s a harder fight.

With your help, we can still stop the land exchange, but call today!

Ocelots at Oak Flat?

Ocelots are roaming Arizona!  

The Sky Island Alliance photographed an ocelot in southern Arizona in November or 2009.  And in April of 2010, an ocelot was run over by a car between Gaan Canyon just east of Oak Flat Campground and Top Of The World, Arizona. According to a recent article in the latest issue of the High Country News, the Arizona Game & Fish Department thinks that this ocelot was not captive breed and therefore presumably a free roaming wild ocelot.  In addition to the ocelot kill on US Highway 60, there have been several sitings of ocelots within the Oak Flat Campground itself since April of 2010.  The Arizona Game & Fish Department is working with the US Fish & WIldlife Service and the US Forest Service to investigate these sitings.

It has been known for some time that the Oak Flat ecosystem (containing Gaan Canyon, Apache Leap, Queen Creek Canyon, and Oak Flat Campground) is ecologically unique, but the high probability of ocelots in the area is yet another reason to not rush into passage of the Oak Flat land exchange and to make sure that Rio Tinto goes though the normal process of trying to permit a mine rather than taking a Congressional shortcut.

Stop Poison Pill that would destroy Oak Flat

Senator Harry Reid has assembled a draft omnibus public lands bill that he would like to introduce and pass yet this Congress in the waning days of the current lame duck session.

Upper Gaan CanyonUpper Gaan Canyon

Senator Reid’s efforts are laudable except for one major flaw with the bill:  apparently in an effort to gain support for the bill from Senator McCain and other Republicans, he has inserted a major “poison pill” into the bill.  It contains the Oak Flat Land Exchange (S 409 – the result of a compromise deal between Senator McCain (R-AZ) and Senator Bingaman (D-NM).  The Oak Flat land exchange is an extremely controversial bill that would result in the destruction of not only an incredible and unique desert ecosystem, but the religious freedom of Native American Tribes.

Foes of Rosemont Mine remain confident

Roger Featherstone, DirectorRoger Featherstone, DirectorTony Davis of the Arizona Daily Star interviewed Director of the Arizona Mining Reform Coalition, Roger Featherstone, and President of Save the Scenic Santa Ritas, Gayle Hartmann, last week and published parts of the interview on Sunday, August 22, 2010.  See a transcript of the article here or go to the full article.

Oak Flat land exchange Op-Ed

The following editorial written by Roy Chavez and Roger Featherstone ran in the April 20, 2010 edition of the Arizona Republic.


The Sonoran Institute was on target in its critique of the proposed Rosemont mine south of Tucson (4/3/10 Arizona Republic), however, the author drew the wrong conclusion about Rio Tinto’s proposal to mine under Oak Flat Campground east of Superior.  In fact it would be impossible to do the same thorough analysis of the Rio Tinto project as is being done on the Rosemont mine proposal, since Rio Tinto has yet to even write a mining plan.  Rio Tinto is trying to evade the rules, which every other mining company wanting to use public lands must follow, and has instead gone straight to the U.S. Congress for a special sweetheart land exchange deal.


Tucson Premiere of The Great Oak Flat Land Giveaway

Up In LightsUp In LightsPlease attend the Tucson Premiere of The Great Oak Flat Land Giveaway on Wednesday, March 24th at 7:30 PM at the Screening Room (127 E. Congress St.) in downtown Tucson, AZ.  The film will be followed by a panel discussion by the filmmakers and principles in the film. There is a suggested donation of $5.00 and copies of the film will be available for purchase.

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