April 15, 2015

Help Needed to Save Apache Sacred Site

TUCSON, Ariz.— The Center for Biological Diversity will join San Carlos Apache leaders and other activists on Sunday April 19 at Cyclovia Tucson’s Street Party in an event to raise awareness and support for the campaign to stop the U.S. government from trading away Oak Flat, an Apache sacred site in central Arizona, to a foreign mining company.

What: Oak Flat Street Party, a celebration of Apache resistance and rally to save Oak Flat, Apache sacred ground, from devastation by a proposed copper mine.

Who: Leaders of the Oak Flat resistance from the San Carlos Apache tribe will attend, along with Center for Biological Diversity staff and supporters and other organizations working to oppose the giveaway of Oak Flat to international mining giant Rio Tinto. Indigenous bands and musicians will provide entertainment.

Where: The first block of 26th Street west of 4th Avenue will be closed to automobile traffic and filled with a stage, tables, vendors, etc. This is an officially sanctioned way station along the Cyclovia Tucson route.

When: Sunday, April 19, 10 a.m.-3p.m.

Foreign mining giant Rio Tinto has been pushing to develop a massive copper mine in the Oak Flat area about five miles east of Superior, Ariz. for more than 10 years, despite a presidential order withdrawing the area from mining 60 years ago. At the end of 2014, the U.S. Congress approved a land swap that would allow Rio Tinto’s subsidiary, Resolution Copper Co., to obtain private control of the land and evade important environmental regulation in developing and operating the mine. The legislation was pushed through in a last-minute rider on an unrelated spending bill.

The Oak Flat area is sacred to San Carlos Apache and home to a diverse array of wildlife. An endangered wild ocelot was found dead on Highway 60 very close to Oak Flat several years ago, and there may be others in the area. The mine would use vast amounts of water in a time of ongoing, severe drought in the Southwest and is likely to destroy groundwater resources in the area and dry up nearby streams and springs.

Sign the petition at http://org.salsalabs.com/o/676/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=17267