Arizona's public wildlands need your help. Retiring Sen. Jon Kyl -- consistently one of the most anti-environment members of the U.S. Senate -- sees the lame-duck session as his last chance to pass "legacy" legislation. As a part of that legacy, he wants to give away a precious piece of Arizona wildlands to two of the world's largest mining companies.
Oak Flat -- sacred to the Apache people -- lies at the heart of his proposal. Its oak-studded hills and wetlands harbor a wide array of wildlife; endangered ocelots and many other species have been spotted there. It's also a popular recreational area with a campground and rock climbing.
Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, partners in Resolution Copper Mining, want to take ownership of the land to avoid environmental review and overcome a decades old mining ban.
Tell your senators to protect Arizona's sacred wildlands and oppose the Oak Flat exchange.
I'm writing to ask you to oppose H.R. 1904. This resolution would allow Rio Tinto and BHP, through their subsidiary Resolution Copper Mining, to acquire Oak Flat -- a beautiful piece of Arizona wildlands -- and avoid environmental review of their dangerous and destructive plans to mine it.
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The Oak Flat area harbors a wide array of wildlife. Endangered ocelot and many other species have been documented among its beautiful, oak-studded hills and lush wetlands. The area is also important to recreation and is home to a popular campground, offering some of the best rock climbing in the state. The place is sacred to the Apache, who have vigorously opposed the plans of Rio Tinto and BHP to acquire and destroy it.
The proposed land exchange would allow the mining companies to own the land outright and thereby avoid the careful environmental and economic review mandated by law when mining is done on public lands. Please do not let the many recreational, cultural and ecological values of Oak Flat be traded away to foreign mining companies.
Please oppose H.R. 1904 and any amendments or other attempts to trade away this important piece of Arizona's natural heritage.
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