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By Greg Opland
Administrator
May 18, 2011
Georgeous!
Anyone heard any new news about what's going on with Oak Flat?

Would you be shocked to learn that Rep. Gosar has reintroduced the land swap legislation on behalf
of Resolution Copper and the THE POND HAS BEEN REMOVED from the deal?

The Bill

FLAG
By Lindajft
From maricopa, AZ
May 18, 2011
The loaf
sad

FLAG
By Fred AmRhein
May 23, 2011
Greg wrote:
THE POND HAS BEEN REMOVED from the deal? The Bill


Greg,

Based on my reading of the bill, it appears that any and all items related to public climbing lands and activities have been removed from the new legislation altogether.

Also, language has been inserted that claims that the privatization of the Oak Flat Area is in the "public interest." These simple few words potentially negate the effects of any further administrative reviews (ie., full, evolving, and proper NEPA process and decisions) that might determine otherwise as is the usual process with federal lands. (See pg. 3, lines 17 and 18, more specifically Sec. 2(a)(2)) As I read it, the previous legislation (SB 409 in the 111th Congress) did not have this language.

In essence, it would seem that any findings related to the defined (and in my personal view, very weak) NEPA provisions or "consultations" with the Native American communities don't matter and won't influence the decision of Congress to hand these revered and precious federal lands over to the multinational mining concern.

Just my reading of things of course.

Fred

FLAG
By NickSch
From Phoenix
May 23, 2011
Photo by Nick W. Taken from Johns Meat Market.
Fred AmRhein wrote:
Greg, Based on my reading of the bill, it appears that any and all items related to public climbing lands and activities have been removed from the new legislation altogether.



Does this mean that climbers will have access or not?

FLAG
By manuel rangel
From Tempe, Arizona
May 23, 2011
Nick, RCM has stated in the past that it would make all attempts to keep open the areas not directly affected by mining in the Oak Flat area until 2016. I have not seen nor heard of that changing. You may want to direct your question to the QCC website for more info they may have but have not shared.

FLAG
By Lindajft
From maricopa, AZ
May 24, 2011
The loaf
So far the mining company has made a lot of verbal promises, in my understanding, but are not putting it in writing as we see by the new bill.

They have done the same with the Big Deal made with the Town of Superior, in my understanding.

Yet, they continue to setup big rigs and make a lot of noise and drill inside the earth out there. Time has shown, RCM is not going to deal with the little people in a transparent way.

It is very important that we, climbers, take a stand for the land we are so fond of. Now is the time to use your voice!

Writing and calling the government officials works, after all, it is the only thing that has held this deal back for years.

Demand this mining company be held responsible for its actions. Don't let RCM become Arizona's BP.

If you care...

FLAG
By Fred AmRhein
May 24, 2011
NickSch wrote:
Does this mean that climbers will have access or not?


Nick,

There are two mentions of the word "access" in the bill.

See pg. 12, line 17 and pg. 21, line 25.

The first instance relates to RCM's efforts to "access" the ore body.

The second instance is used with respect to a mandated management plan for "Apache Leap" that "shall consider whether additional measures are necessary to . . . provide access for Recreation." (a paraphrasing of what is in Sec 8(b) as it relates to Apache Leap)

In a word, no, the legislation does not provide for "access" to what most people consider the normal climbing areas at Oak Flat (Euro Dog, The Mine Areas, the Oak Flat Bouldering Areas, Gaan Canyon areas, The Pond, Atlantis, etc.)

Access means different things to different people so what do you mean? (Just asking to make sure I can address your question precisely)

Thanks,

Fred

FLAG
By NickSch
From Phoenix
May 24, 2011
Photo by Nick W. Taken from Johns Meat Market.
Fred,

By "access" I mean climbing. Will we be able to climb in QC? I am fairly new to the PHX area and have only read up a little bit on the issue, but from what I've read and understood it sounded like they were going to keep a couple areas open to climbing but close many others.

1) Was this the original deal?
2) Is this still the deal?

Thanks for all the info.


FLAG
 
By Dief
May 25, 2011
All the areas in the Queen Creek area are open. For other info visit theqcc.org.

FLAG
By Lindajft
From maricopa, AZ
May 25, 2011
The loaf
For those who don't want to read the new HR1904 bill yourself, you may find this interesting.

Section 8 pertains to outdoor recreation.

FLAG
By Fred AmRhein
May 25, 2011
NickSch wrote:
By "access" I mean climbing. Will we be able to climb in QC?


While all areas in the Oak Flat area, including those in Queen Creek Canyon itself like The Pond and Atlantis are currently open and accessible, the question of whether they "will" be once the land exchange legislation has passed is unclear.

As Manny explained earlier, the mining company had expressed its willingness to allow climbing to continue on its lands pursuant to certain limitations related to safety, etc. However, many areas will be affected by the mining activities and will be either immediately or eventually closed permanently once the privatization occurs.

If you are new to the area and want to catch up on all of the details as best we know them, feel free to join in with the Concerned Climbers of Arizona ( concernedclimbers.com/ ) in our advocacy efforts on behalf of our beloved Oak Flat and surrounding public lands.

Our next general meeting is tonight at 6:30p, Boulders Pub, NE corner of Roosevelt and Broadway in Tempe. As always, the public is welcome and invited.

Fred

FLAG
By Fred AmRhein
Jun 1, 2011
Greg Opland wrote:
Anyone heard any new news about what's going on with Oak Flat? Would you be shocked to learn that Rep. Gosar has reintroduced the land swap legislation on behalf of Resolution Copper and the THE POND HAS BEEN REMOVED from the deal? The Bill


Greg,

Evidently, here's why:

"The Pond was removed from the latest version of RCM’s proposed legislative land exchange because RCM has decided to retain ownership of The Pond in order to conduct underground activities including mining."

Source: theqcc.org/

As of today, (6/1/2011) the Resolution web site still shows that the mine will not affect Queen Creek Canyon? If they intend to mine beneath The Pond (QC Canyon) will their impact map and subsidence profile change? I suppose this means the highway will eventually nolonger go up the canyon too? And, how will one access our currently conveniently located public lands? (Or what's left of them?)

resolutioncopper.com/res/envir...

FLAG
By Lindajft
From maricopa, AZ
Jun 2, 2011
The loaf
Does anyone else see the conflict? All you who look but don't post, aren't you angry about all this or just don't want to get involved?

I'd like to hear what others feel about this situation.


Linda



Silence=Apathy

(No matter how pragmatic one thinks he/she is)

FLAG
By Red
From Arizona
Jun 2, 2011
Cobra Kai
Lindajft wrote:
Does anyone else see the conflict? All you who look but don't post, aren't you angry about all this


Yes and yes. What do you recommend interested climbers do to help the cause, Linda? All this thread has is information, no call to action. What can climbers actually do?

Just being upset and posting on this thread isn't going to help anything. What would you like to see climbers do to help save our recreational land?

Luke

FLAG
By Catherine Conner
From Phoenix, AZ
Jun 2, 2011
Contemplative-what is ahead?
I agree with what Red said-yes and yes! What is the action to be taken? I have called, I have written in the past. I will gladly do it again.

Can you please post who to contact and who to write? What will be the most useful course of action?

I personally think some "Letters to the Editor" in Arizona Republic, and an article on azcentral.com (from our & native american perspective) is a good way to keep the general public upset about their public lands given away without a say. The more people that KNOW about it, and the more that understand (besides just climbers), the better. Can we get television stations to do a report on it? This helps put pressure on the politicians to do the right thing... where-as if they think no-one is looking... then they will do what they want as quickly as they can. Seems like a good controversial "Topic" for journalists to cover... that would gain interest from readers. Get your foot in the door however possible-using the media seems like a good idea.

Is there any possibility of getting enough people together (we'd need a thousand, at least) and demonstrating at an appropriate time & place? That always brings the media, and a chance to express our outrage. Make it a huge Facebook event to increase the numbers-friends of friends of friends... people who are into protecting public lands. Let's make a big fuss about it. The whole middle east revolutions were started on facebook, so why not try to make a difference here with it.

Just ideas, I'm sure you've already talked about these things.

Anyway, please let me know what I can do to help in the more immediate time-frame?

Also, it always helps to know... what is the timeframe for this legislation (like what stages does it go through, or when do they decide/vote)? Helps to know timelines of when things need to get done by...


And thanks so much for posting up! This is indeed bad news. How is it not going to go through (the Mine & land destruction) when they are already doing so much work, and seem to have free reign as it is... It's going to be a tough fight!

I do care about this.
-Catherine

FLAG
By Fred AmRhein
Jun 2, 2011
Catherine Conner wrote:
what is the timeframe for this legislation (like what stages does it go through, or when do they decide/vote)? Helps to know timelines of when things need to get done by...


The legislation to privatize our public climbing lands was introduced into the House or Representatives by Rep. Gosar earlier this year.

It's my understanding that there is a hearing slated for June 14th in the House Natural Resources Committee. If the bill passes through this step, then there is a likelihood that the whole House will then approve of it. The next step is over on the Senate side but the bill has not been introduced there yet.

Best way to make a difference is to assert your right to speak to your Representative, regardless of what district or state you are in.

This is a national issue related to what could be one of the largest copper mining operations in the US and the legislation potentially effectively skirts most of our environmental laws. In addition to perhaps the largest loss of developed and easily accessible climbings lands in US History the legislation as written is in direct conflict with the religious rights of Native Americans.

Just my view of course. Personally I don't think you need any call to action from anybody else if you ask me, just make your voice be heard.

Fred

FLAG
 
By BGBingham
Jun 2, 2011
night ice
One thing to do is to write your Congresspeople and Senator's and ask them why there needs to be Federal action to "swap" land for a project that doesn't even have a plan on where it will place its extensive waste product of mountain or Half Dome sized tailings (20 billion cubic feet).

Another is to ask why they would "swap" away land, long ago set aside for protection, to a corporation that doesn't even have a concrete plan for where it will obtain a considerable amount of water (38 million gallons per day) needed to operate.

With respect to the employment drumbeat that supporters such as Gosar continue to mention is to note that alternative mine designs would employ more people.

Lastly, ask why this project should proceed given that no one has addressed the impact a hole in the ground 800 feet deep and over a mile long will have on the local and regional environment and economy.

All these questions should be answered before Federal action is taken.

FLAG
By Ben Beard
From Superior, AZ
Jun 2, 2011
roo, my only son, the stare that takes down a herd of 'stock
Channel 3 segment

A recent story has been done by Channel 3 news.

It would be interesting to hear from the two climbing groups on how they are going to protect access to the private land (The Pond, Atlantis, parts of the Mine Area and parts of Apache Leap) that many people climb on, irregardless of the land exchange.

FLAG
By Fred AmRhein
Jun 3, 2011
Greg wrote:
Anyone heard any new news about what's going on with Oak Flat?


A recent article in the Superior Sun that details the continued and assertive efforts of the Apache people to retain what they see as a vital part of their cultural heritage, the Greater Oak Flat Areas.

news.mywebpal.com/news_tool_v2...

This excerpt provides their vision for the area:

"[T]he San Carlos Tribal Council directed Chairman Rambler to begin the process of having the Oak Flat area designated as a national historical, cultural and traditional site."

Fred

FLAG
By Fred AmRhein
Jun 3, 2011
And:

The Access Fund evidently helped fund a study to help quantify the economic impact of recreational activities on Arizona and the study was the topic of an article in the Arizona Daily Star (Tucson Paper):

azstarnet.com/news/local/artic...

Notable:

"The study found that "human-powered" outdoor recreation produces $5.3 billion in annual retail sales and generates nearly $371 million in state tax revenues.

"Such recreation supports more than 86,000 Arizona jobs directly and another 100,000 jobs indirectly, says the report, commissioned by a national climbing advocacy group called the Access Fund.

"I think it would surprise many people to learn that this kind of recreation has such an impact on the economy," said Brady Robinson, executive director of the Access Fund. "It isn't as obvious as, say, the impact of a copper mine. That's why we think it's important to highlight this - to quantify that impact."

FLAG
By Fred AmRhein
Jun 3, 2011
Catherine Conner wrote:
Can you please post who to contact and who to write?


For a specific Congressional Representative or Senator you can use the congress.org link and your zip code on the Concerned Climbers web site, front page down near the bottom ( concernedclimbers.com ).

Best thing to do would be to contact their local office and ask for the name of the staff person who is tracking the bill (HR 1904) and send your letter/email directly to them.

Just my thought of course.

Fred

FLAG
By Lindajft
From maricopa, AZ
Jun 4, 2011
The loaf
Thanks Red and Catherine for speaking up.

Sometimes while on this forum, the same ol' folks post and it starts to feel a bit lonely on the road. (Even tho' you know others are reading. It brings the question: Does anyone care?)
So thank you for posting!


Personally, I have been writing letters and FAXING to someone, somewhere, once a week. It's real easy, I either write a personal letter or use the letter the Concerned Climbers of Arizona have been sending out.
Some of the contacts I fax/email are:

Access Fund, Brady Robinson brady@accessfund.org
Forest Service
(Fred or Manny do you have the contact info. I cannot find it.)
Dept of Secretary of Interior: Lori Faeth, Lori_faeth@ios.doi.gov

Local Officials (Sometimes I call to have my voice on record.)
McCain: mccain.senate.gov
Kyl: kyl.senate.gov
Gosar: gosar.house.gov/

FYI
(Since October of 2001, the delivery of mail to Senate offices has been disrupted several times – first by letters laced with anthrax, and then a second time by mail contaminated with ricin. Both incidents resulted in suspension of mail deliveries until mail-handling procedures could be reassessed and improved. The individuals responsible for these mailings have not been identified to date.

New security procedures have been implemented to try to safeguard the mail and the health and well being of those who handle it. However, those procedures can delay the delivery of mail to Senate offices from a few days to several weeks.)

BTW Fred said everything I was going to say. Thanks Fred for your steadfastness and perseverance! ( Yes, Greg, that's Linda using those big words.)

FLAG
By BGBingham
Jun 4, 2011
night ice
Rep. Gosar
Rep. Gosar


Would you buy a used car from this guy?

Here is one of his quotes:

I’ve done my due diligence in dialoguing, he says, with all parties involved – citizens of Superior, climbers, Apaches.

Due diligence in dialoguing? What the heck does that mean?

Followed by:

He had talked to everyone, insisted Gosar, and in some areas, “We can agree to disagree.”

Really?

The problem is that the "disagreement" is not over something trivial. It will forever alter the environment and has major water and economic implications.

What’s different? “Apache Leap is off the table,” he said, and some kind of sharing plan is envisioned for Oak Flats.

We get to share a big hole in the ground?

From what I can tell this guy only dialogs with Mr. Happy and Mr. Cherry.

If you're interested you can find these quotes at:

coppercountrynews.com/v2_news_...

Please write your representatives and your local papers.

FLAG
By Lindajft
From maricopa, AZ
Jun 5, 2011
The loaf
I faxed a letter to both of Gosar's offices today.

Current Elected Office Contact Information

Contact for Rep. Paul Gosar

Website: gosar.house.gov

Washington, D.C. Office:
504 Cannon House Office Building,
District of Columbia 20515-0301
Phone: (202) 225-2315
Fax: (202) 226-9739

Prescott Office:
240 South Montezuma Street, #101
Prescott, Arizona 86303
Phone: (928) 445-1683
Fax: (928) 445-3414
(Unfortunately the Casa Grande & Flagstaff Fax #'s did not go thru for me.)

Next I'll be faxing the House Natural Resources Committee

NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU IF YOU DON'T USE YOUR VOICE!

FLAG
 
By ClimbandMine
Jun 5, 2011
BGBingham wrote:
One thing to do is to write your Congresspeople and Senator's and ask them why there needs to be Federal action to "swap" land for a project that doesn't even have a plan on where it will place its extensive waste product of mountain or Half Dome sized tailings (20 billion cubic feet). Another is to ask why they would "swap" away land, long ago set aside for protection, to a corporation that doesn't even have a concrete plan for where it will obtain a considerable amount of water (38 million gallons per day) needed to operate. With respect to the employment drumbeat that supporters such as Gosar continue to mention is to note that alternative mine designs would employ more people. Lastly, ask why this project should proceed given that no one has addressed the impact a hole in the ground 800 feet deep and over a mile long will have on the local and regional environment and economy. All these questions should be answered before Federal action is taken.


Ah, Brent... You make it sound so easy.

There are definitions for mine-able reserves in the SEC guidelines. Reserve status is met by having completed feasibility studies and definition drilling. Resolution has not completed either sufficient drilling or level of study to meet these guidelines yet. Thus they do not have sufficient information to release publicly, or to permit or plan water needs or tailings facilities. My understanding is they need shaft access to conduct this drilling.

Secondly, larger "glory holes" exist at El Teniente and Grasberg from caving operations, with minimum impact on the environment and no impact on the economy. I'd think a miner such as yourself would know about these mines. :)

FLAG
By BGBingham
Jun 5, 2011
night ice
ClimbandMine wrote:
There are definitions for mine-able reserves in the SEC guidelines. Reserve status is met by having completed feasibility studies and definition drilling. Resolution has not completed either sufficient drilling or level of study to meet these guidelines yet. Thus they do not have sufficient information...


That is my point. There is not enough information for politicians to be messing with land that has had another use for a very long time. If that use is curtailed for climbers, Apache's and a long list of other users then there is an environmental impact.

Thus they don't have "sufficient information" to be wining and dining the politicians and local press about how wonderful and complete the world will be when they have things exactly their way.

So you know, water usage, size of "glory hole" and amount of tailings has all been derived from information that RCM has published on their web site.

Thanks CaM

FLAG


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