Huge Open-Pit Mine Proposed for the Santa Rita Mountains
The Rosemont Copper Company, a subsidiary of Augusta Resource Corporation, wants to build a massive copper mine in the northern Santa Rita Mountains, Pima County, some 20 miles southeast of Tucson, AZ.
The project would reportedly involve 995 acres of private land and 3,670 acres of national forest. Mining operations would go on for at least 2 decades.
This project, if approved by the US Forest Service, would cause tremendous damage to a vital core area of habitat for jaguar and other wildlife, as well as degrade or destroy a major movement corridor for wildlife, regionally, north to south.
In addition to direct impacts from the mining itself, the project would require more roads in the backcountry and related developments.
The nearby Patagonia Mountains are threatened by six possible open-pit mines.
The Pima County Board of Supervisors, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, the City of Tucson, Marana Town Council, Sahuarita Town Council, and the Oro Valley Board of Supervisors have passed resolutions opposing the mine at Rosemont. Many of them have also requested the Arizona Congressional Delegation to initiate the permanent withdrawal of federal lands within the Coronado National Forest from mineral exploration and extraction.
All voices for the jaguar need to be heard opposing this mine!
Jeanine A. Derby, Forest Supervisor. Coronado National Forest, 300 W. Congress, Tucson, AZ 85701; (520) 388-8300 (before July 14, 2008, if possible).
Send copies of your letter to your US Senators and members of the US Congress.
You can also comment directly on the Forest Service website:
For more information, especially on what local people are doing to oppose this mine, contact the citizen’s group “Save the Scenic Santa Ritas” http://www.scenicsantaritas.org/
Finally, you can contact the Governor of Arizona (http://azgovernor.gov/Contact.asp) urging her to oppose large scale mining in jaguar habitat.
You can also request that the Governor direct the state’s Jaguar Conservation Team (under the Arizona Game and Fish Department) to start working to protect and restore jaguar habitat (it has thus far refused to do so).
Here’s the letter we sent to the US Forest Service regarding the proposed Rosemont Mine: jhc_ltr_rosemontmine7-8-08
And here’s our letter to Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano asking that the Arizona Game and Fish Department undertake jaguar habitat conservation work: letter-to-az-governor7-7-08
We’ll report back to you on their replies.