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Queen Creek Recreational Use Licence Update
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By NC Rock Climber
From The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Jun 11, 2012
tanuki

Red wrote:
A lot to stomach below! I don't like it and oppose it...


As I was composing my post, Red posted his. Rather than saying the same thing again, I'll just state that I agree 100% with everything he said.

I will add that the QCC does not speak for me, and I am not sure who they actually represent. To the best of my understanding, the QCC has no membership and no legal authority to represent "the climbing community." That makes this license agreement even more troubling.

I had a positive e-mail exchange with one of the QCC board members (now a former board member) last year regarding their position on this issue. Through our correspondence I got the impression that he honestly believed that the QCC was acting in the best interest of the climbing community. To put it another way, I don't think that the QCC is made up of "bad" people. I just really disagree with what they are doing.

From what I can see here, there is a lot of opposition to what the QCC's current course of action. This opposition is from the climbing community that the QCC claims to represent. I sincerely hope that the QCC will take into account the feedback that they are getting here and seriously reconsider their course of action.


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By Dief
Jun 11, 2012

When the mine/land swap was first proposed the deal presented to climbers was basically we lose access to all the climbing in Queen Creek in exchange for Tamo – a state park. Friends of Queen Creek was formed to save as much climbing as possible in Queen Creek regardless of Tamo. For many reasons Tamo as a state park died. The Access Fund negotiated a license agreement with RCM to allow climbers to continue climbing on RCM’s private land. The Access Fund and local climbers paid part of the insurance with RCM picking up the rest. The agreement called for kiosks at Atlantis and The Pond where climbers would have to register. The kiosk part of the plan was never implemented. The point here is that for many years climbers have been allowed to climb on RCM lands because of a license agreement held by the Access Fund.

The QCC was formed when it became evident that the mine could not be stopped outright. The QCC is dealing not just with the immediate climbing in Queen Creek but the surrounding area. So, Tamo may well be brought back to life – just not as a state park. The QCC incorporated as a non-profit so it could hold the license agreement as the Access Fund did not want to be the long term license holder. As part of the new license the kiosks/registration are back on the table. There will be no charge and we will make it as painless as possible.

As with all negotiations there have been ups & downs. After “throwing in the towel” in frustration earlier this year QCC went back to the table with RCM (thanks to the help from the Access Fund). This deal can be Monday morning quarterbacked until hell freezes over. It is not perfect but it is what it is – a deal with a private land owner to allow climbing to continue on their private land.

This land swap is not about climbing. It is a huge complicated trade that involves various parcels around the state. Climbing is but a small blip on the radar. To believe otherwise denies the reality of the situation. We know that not everyone agrees with our position. That’s OK. We have received much feed back that supports our efforts. Many have mentioned their reluctance to post on MP and RC because of the abuse that is heaped on QCC. Irrational and personal attacks (while sometimes entertaining) will stifle healthy debate and weaken your cause. More than one group can represent the interest of climbers. The Sierra Club and Nature Conservancy both protect wild open spaces. They do so in completely different ways. Neither group is right or wrong – they just come at the problem with a different perspective.


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By Fred AmRhein
Jun 11, 2012

Dief wrote:
This deal ... is what it is.


Paul,

So, in reality the deal is sealed and your requests for feedback are?

Here's the language in the previous RCM/Town of Superior agreement that begs the question about the existence of similar language in your document: (This deal was replaced by another similar in language in part due to the discovery of the specifics by local town residents)

Article 5: Conditions of This Agreement

5.2 Conditions Subsequent [to the adoption of the agreement] This Agreement shall terminate automatically upon the occurrence of the following conditions, upon which this Agreement shall have no further force or effect.

5.2.2 Provided there has been no Event of Default by RCML, upon any rescission of the Support Letter by the Mayor or any member of the Town Council in their official capacity, or any such person in their official capacity otherwise qualifying their support of the Legislation, the Exchange, and/or proposed RCML Operations, or otherwise expressing opposition to the RCML Operations in any communication with any member of the State’s delegation or the State’s Governor.

Dated June 19, 2008
Signed by David Salisbury, President Resolution Copper Company, Mayor Michael Hing (Superior), and attested to by Melanie Oliver, Town Manager, Town of Superior


Please release the document so that we can actually know how you are obligated so that we know for whom you are speaking; as it is now we can only assume that you are henceforth speaking for RCM and their cause (as potentially implied in your document summary posted, ie., see #12 "time to time" assist RCM with PR) as a condition of getting the items promised including an unknown amount of money.

Thanks,

Fred


PS: "You" or "your" in reference to you Paul is meant as the representative of the QCC, Inc. as the current Chair of that corporation. Comments by me referencing "you" in previous posts have been in response to the injection by you personally about your extraneous personal experience as you detailed and volunteeered and/or in historical view based on our common experience and involvement with the previously Community-based Queen Creek Coalition.


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By Geir
From Tucson, AZ
Jun 12, 2012
Toofast

Dief wrote:
It is not perfect but it is what it is – a deal with a private land owner to allow climbing to continue on their private land.


With respect, Dief, climbers were able to climb at the Pond and Atlantis just fine as they were. RCM never closed these areas to climbing, even during the times when the licenses were expired, probably because they didn't want to have the negative press.

What this actually does is provide a piece of paper to RCM that they can wave to say they have met the needs of climbers. They haven't.

Dief wrote:
We have received much feed back that supports our efforts. Many have mentioned their reluctance to post on MP and RC because of the abuse that is heaped on QCC. Irrational and personal attacks (while sometimes entertaining) will stifle healthy debate and weaken your cause.


I am sure that many people have supported your efforts. I was one of them; I think many people have agreed in the past with the principle of trying to negotiate directly with RCM. Though I have suspected for some time now that RCM is neither trustworthy nor truly interested in the needs of climbers, were the QCC able to negotiate an acceptable deal I would have eagerly supported it.

But this agreement is not acceptable. (This is not due to a lack of effort on your part and I appreciate that you have tried very hard to get one.) I am also willing to bet that the vast majority of people in this climbing community do NOT support it. I disagree that the people who support this agreement are not posting simply because of the abuse that QCC has received, as it is plainly clear that people are willing to stridently defend unpopular opinions here.

I might be wrong, however, so this could be put to an test: if QCC could provide a list of real climbers who support this agreement, I am sure the rest of us could provide a list of people who don't support it. Let's see how the numbers shake out.


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By pga26
From Mesa, AZ
Jun 12, 2012

seriously folks, how many of you are actually doing something constructive and not just waiting for someone that is (like paul dief) to post an update so you can rant and rave about how unjust it is? these guys that are running the qcc have been in the biz of saving areas for climbing by working with private party owners and governments for years! let them use what they have learned through experience to save as much of queen creek for climbing as they can. in 10 years time i bet you will be up on a route thanking these guys for volunteering enough time and effort to save it. or maybe you will still be bitter that things didn't just stay the same as they were before copper was discovered under our favorite hills. it is what it is, they won't be stopped from mining. that's the unfortunate reality. stop living in fantasy land and support dief, filsinger, and others that are spending hours trying to keep some of the areas open.


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By Geir
From Tucson, AZ
Jun 12, 2012
Toofast

pga26 wrote:
seriously folks, how many of you are actually doing something constructive and not just waiting for someone that is (like paul dief) to post an update so you can rant and rave about how unjust it is?


Uh.... pretty much everyone here! If you were the least bit involved you'd probably know this.

I was on the board for a year and a half. For years before that I supported the QCC heavily. I also established a bunch of lines in Queen Creek.

As for Manny, David, Fred, Kirra, Red, Linda, NC ... I know for a fact many of them have been even more involved than I have, but I will let them speak for themselves.

And please give us your real, full name so we can tell you are not just another duplicate account trying to give the appearance that more people support this than actually do.

Geir S Hundal


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By Laurel
From Phoenix
Jun 12, 2012
Isolation Canyon

We can complain all we want, but it is our history that brings us to this problem in the form of ancient and outdated legislation (that no one seems to get overturned or rewritten). Lest we forget, the General Mining Act of 1872 authorizes and govern prospecting and mining for economic minerals on federal public lands (basically gives anyone the right to file a claim and mine on federal lands).
The Federal Land Policy Act (FLPMA)amended this horrid Act but still allows for "multiple use". Sad but true, the BLM, NPS and the USFS can not deny people the right to mine a claim, they can however make them show that the impacts are not significant or if they are significant will be mitgated.
Additionally other land RSM is pursuing is State Trust Land, which requires only a cultural/biological report, NO environmental clearances need to be completed, just requires a lease. We know the AZ Land Department will lease to any resource extraction entity. WE have no leverage on this land at all.
The real problem here is that RSM has managed to convince everyone to do the environmental clearances (NEPA documentation) AFTER the land exchange.
Solution:If you want a side to support, put your energy behind making sure this project has had an EIS completed. (doesn't matter what the USFS says about why they won't do it, legally they have to and we should force that issue).

Just saying, sigh.


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By Red
From Arizona
Jun 12, 2012
Cobra Kai

pga26 wrote:
seriously folks, how many of you are actually doing something constructive

Actually, everyone that has posted on this thread before your post. What have you done?

pga26 wrote:
and not just waiting for someone that is (like paul dief) to post an update so you can rant and rave about how unjust it is? these guys that are running the qcc have been in the biz of saving areas for climbing by working with private party owners and governments for years! let them use what they have learned through experience to save as much of queen creek for climbing as they can. in 10 years time i bet you will be up on a route thanking these guys for volunteering enough time and effort to save it. or maybe you will still be bitter that things didn't just stay the same as they were before copper was discovered under our favorite hills. it is what it is, they won't be stopped from mining. that's the unfortunate reality. stop living in fantasy land and support dief, filsinger, and others that are spending hours trying to keep some of the areas open.

Welcome, nice to meet you. Sorry, I didn't catch your name with your foot in your mouth. Maybe in the future educate yourself before you go spewing about things that you are not abreast to.


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By Red
From Arizona
Jun 12, 2012
Cobra Kai

Please...

Red wrote:
Will someone from the QCC please explain this sudden change in stance: January 16, 2012 "Queen Creek Coalition is and likely will remain opposed to Resolution's proposed land exchange. Further, Queen Creek Coalition will actively oppose any attempt by Resolution to close climbing areas located on public land or to close public roads by which climbing areas are accessed." Source: theqcc.org Thank you, Luke Anaya


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By ClimbPHX.com
From Mesa AZ
Jun 12, 2012
Final Pitch on Birdland - 5.7 Red Rocks

I shudder to write this - since someone will probably hand my ass to me ... but
I would think that most people on here looking from the outside in see a fanatical bunch of climbers with a unreasonable view of the economical implications of the area vs the overall will to protect it and the efforts that are being enacted herein.
I have been a supporter of the area for over 10 years now.. starting years ago with environmental analysis of the area to discover ecological reasons to bring to the table with Nature Conservancy, tried to provide organized clean ups of the that no one attended to show climber support of the area, and have worked at spreading the word through my site and community information exchange. Most of the time I find that I get into emotionally charged arguments with members on here rather than sharing Positive Ways to educate and raise a unified voice.
I have a realistic expectation of the area because I have stayed informed on the area and the legislation, attended the various meetings over the years and even taken the time over the years to discuss the matter in depth with Dief personally to understand why he is taking the action he has. Whether I agree with him personally or not - You have to have both sides of the story to make an educated decision.
What I have found is that I'm constantly attacked as being a supporter of the destruction of the Mine and Dief's attempts - Even though I have repeatedly expressed that we need a License with NEPA wrapped in and a serious attempt at NO SUBSIDENCE. I try to bring logical and thought out dialogue but find that it usually turns into a hassle.

Its no wonder no one wants to get involved - Most of the feedback I hear and get to my website is that they don't take this seriously and there is too much bickering, back-biting and emotionally charged rhetoric on this site to want to get involved.
More education is necessary so that new members and onlookers see an educated, organized group with a clear brand and a professional approach and realistic ideal.


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By Geir
From Tucson, AZ
Jun 12, 2012
Toofast

ClimbPHX.com wrote:
I shudder to write this - since someone will probably hand my ass to me ...


Shiloh,

Sounds like you are advocating for the best of both approaches. I doubt anyone is going to give you much grief about it on this thread.


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By Fred AmRhein
Jun 13, 2012

Dief wrote:
This land swap is not about climbing.


Folks,

Given that Mountain Project , RC.com, and the various climbing groups are oriented toward climbing and that the climbing community and Federal climbing lands are impacted, I suspect that this view is not really the view of the greater climbing community.

It is a documented fact that climbing is an issue at the Federal level inasmuch as the category of activity that primarily forces RCM to go to Congress to attempt to do an end-run around the administrative policies that protect Oak Flat is recreation.

Here’s how it logically and legally flows that climbing, as a subset of recreational activities in general, is the issue and subject of RCM's legislation:

Oak Flat was set aside as a dedicated and protected recreation area in 1955 in an Executive Branch process called a Public Land Order, originally in PLO 1229. At some point in time in history the US President delegated some of his authority to his administration in an Executive Order for them to essentially “withdraw” certain worthy public places from privatization by mining interests and others as allowed by law (US mining law of 1872 for instance).

During this process, the Administration determined that Oak Flat, along with many other campgrounds, picnic areas, and various assorted public lands around the US, was worthy of protection against various private uses allowed under law. Since that time, Oak Flat has been protected from any mining activities including exploration or any encroaching subsurface mining, etc. It is primarily the existence of PLO 1229 that has forced RCM to go to the Legislative Branch to undo the Administrative Branch's protective policy.

Several times since the original PLO was put into place to protect Oak Flat, various mining interests have tried to undo the protection but the Administration prevailed with its view that the parcel is as worthy in modern times of protection as it was back in the day. (Per documents that the AF and local climber Curt Shannon uncovered via a Freedom of Information Act request to the Administration a few years ago)

Furthermore, in another PLO in or about 1972 or so, the administration more publicly acknowledged the protections for Oak Flat by again stating that it was to be withdrawn from acquisition specifically under the mining rules. (“Acquisition” is one of the technical terms used for the privatization of public lands via exploring on lands for minerals, making claims, and patenting/privatizing per the 1872 Mining Laws)

Insofar as climbing is a recognized dispersed traditional use of Federal recreational lands, the issue that is being discussed, whether couched and somewhat confounded in a deal for a now-defunct State Park or similarly confounded and tied into a private license, monetary, and endorsement deal, is truly and simply the privatization and loss of dedicated public recreation lands via RCM’s legislation.

Climbing may be just one recreational activity but indeed it is a fact that Oak Flat was set aside for public recreational activities and protected from mining. Turns out this is perhaps the main reason that the legislation has been introduced and sponsored on behalf of RCM.

Hope it helps,

Fred


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By K-Tanz
From Phoenix, AZ
Jun 13, 2012
Leading up pitch 2 of Moby Dick, Cochise Stronghold, AZ

Dief,

You wanted feedback from the climbing community and it seems pretty clear and united thus far. It seems that the most positive response you have gotten thus far is "Well at least they are doing somehting!"

I especially take issue with items 11, 12, and, most fervently, item 13. You are selling your soul and your right to speak out and yo are doing it in the names of others. I do appreciate the efforts you are taking but will never support any measure that suppresses my voice or the voice of the community.

If the ground starts collapsing in around the mine and RCM is dumping waste upwind of superior and people are being hurt due to such activities you have agreed to not only be silent, but to assist in PR as an agent of that which you claim to oppose. I will not support this.

This land is on top of an absolute gold (copper) mine and to think that big business won't get it out one way or another is sadly optimistic.I think it is somewhat ignorant to believe that the area in question will remain forever free of mining (although I can hope) and feel that some sort of agreement will eventually need to be reached, but it is with great fervor that I oppose this agreement in its current form.


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By Geir
From Tucson, AZ
Jun 13, 2012
Toofast

Hey Shiloh,

You seem to have a middle ground stance on this. Would you consider putting your website skills to use by conducting an online poll?

It would be interesting to see what people think in a neutral environment. We could spread the word about the poll through email, the forums, word of mouth, facebook, etc.

I would do it myself, but have a pretty strong opinion about this and would like to minimize my own bias in its construction.


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By Ben Beard
From Superior, AZ
Jun 14, 2012
roo, my only son, the stare that takes down a herd of 'stock

You might think the access agreement sucks. You might have some feelings one way or the other on the groups involved in the land exchange. The "poll" may give some results that mean something to someone in a week.
But at the end of the day, there will always be a certain population of climbers that want to climb at the Pond and Atlantis, which is private property of RCM. This access agreement, like any other agreement with a private landowner, may not make everyone happy. But, the agreement still lets people climb on the private property, if they are willing to go with the terms. If you don't like the terms, then you don't have to climb on RCM property. You can keep your opposition to any land exchanges and affiliation to certain groups. The QCC is keeping a way open for a population of climbers to access certain areas, while the CCA is going to go the way that it feels is right.


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By ClimbPHX.com
From Mesa AZ
Jun 14, 2012
Final Pitch on Birdland - 5.7 Red Rocks

Lets start with this...

www.surveymonkey.com/s/LHY2LSX

Ive also put this on twitter and FB - ask me for the script


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By Geir
From Tucson, AZ
Jun 14, 2012
Toofast

This is a nice, simple start Shiloh. Thanks.


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By ClimbPHX.com
From Mesa AZ
Jun 14, 2012
Final Pitch on Birdland - 5.7 Red Rocks

Yep - Free and trackable... So it will work for now
I can provide the link or people can share it on FB by visiting the
CLimbPHX Facebook page.


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By ClimbPHX.com
From Mesa AZ
Jun 14, 2012
Final Pitch on Birdland - 5.7 Red Rocks

Please visit the following link and express your
opinion on the outstanding License update that was released
by the QCC - we are here to take a consensus - not attack
the efforts herein....

www.surveymonkey.com/s/LHY2LSX

Ive also put this on twitter and FB - ask me for the script


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By Fred AmRhein
Jun 14, 2012

Ben Beard wrote:
You might think the access agreement sucks.


Ben,

Based on what I've read here and what has historically been in place in terms of an access agreement as formerly held by the Access Fund it's my impression that people don't have too much heartburn about a deal with a private landowner for access.

It seems pretty obvious that the OP's summary is describing primarily an endorsement of RCM's legislation and future actions in exchange for money and tenuous provisions to access existing private property and potentially, maybe access to Federal Public property in the event that it is privatized by RCM.

For many it seems that this sort of unprecedented confounding and intwertwining of access, money, and endorsements is unseemly and thus unacceptable.

Factually speaking, the Access Fund license agreement did not contain such endorsement of RCM's legislation or its future activities. It was quietly in place and permitted climbing for quite a while as I recall.

Perhaps it would be more palatable to a larger portion of the community, say instead of a split community over such contentious provisions maybe one that has a vast majority, if QCC, Inc. would split off the endorsements and money portions into a separate document. My guess is that there'd be a significant difference in how the community responds, whether it be on this site, via twitter, fb, etc.

Such a reasonable compromise might go a long way to help the community deal more effectively with the separate topics.

Hope it helps.

Fred


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By Lindajft
From maricopa, AZ
Jun 14, 2012
The loaf

Thanks for the effort Shiloh


I do not think anyone here wants to give up access to the Pond or Atlantis but at what cost to our community?


This license still begs the question:

Why would a huge $$$$ International Mine offer a handful of folks a sum of money?
It just doesn't make sense to me. What are you offering them?


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By Dief
Jun 16, 2012

Just to be clear: When the process is put in place (via online or onsite at a kiosk) registration simply means you will follow the rules for climbing on private property - no fires, etc. Registration does not mean you support the mission of QCC or anything else.


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By ClimbPHX.com
From Mesa AZ
Jun 16, 2012
Final Pitch on Birdland - 5.7 Red Rocks

So Far - The responses are split about 29% in favor and in part
& an overwhelming 61% against. What i did notice is that about 25% were in favor in part.

Thanks for everyone's participation thus far, but again - the lack of overall participation from the community continues to boggle my mine.


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By Fred AmRhein
Jun 16, 2012

Dief wrote:
Just to be clear: When the process is put in place (via online or onsite at a kiosk) registration simply means you will follow the rules for climbing on private property - no fires, etc. Registration does not mean you support the mission of QCC or anything else.


Thanks for addressing the issue insofar as you are representing an intention.

Please release your documents so that we can see what the registration and endorsement deal entails. My impression is that there is a hesitancy to significanly back you and/or your group on the endorsements and money though there is probably plenty of support for a license agreement as has been in place fairly solely and cleanly by the AF in the past.

One can pass off the survey as one has passed off all of the other surveys by those who desire an endorsement and compensation deal with the mining company. However, the predominant response through the years has been that the climbing community overall does not support endorsement of RCM's privatization of the public's lands by your group or anybody else from the community who purports to represent itself as doing such (the controversial and failed State Park advocacy via RCM and its hired climbing consultants).

At some point, the data about RCM's attempts as characterized by dangling carrots and what appears to clearly be a minority view of endrosement becomes crystal. That some may seem to appear to be ignoring this almost indicates some sort of contempt for the public's interest and view; presenting something as "it is what it is" and resisitings calls for transparency kind of speak to this it would seem.

Thank you,

Fred


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By Geir
From Tucson, AZ
Jun 19, 2012
Toofast

ClimbPHX.com wrote:
So Far - The responses are split about 29% in favor and in part & an overwhelming 61% against. What i did notice is that about 25% were in favor in part. Thanks for everyone's participation thus far, but again - the lack of overall participation from the community continues to boggle my mine.


Thanks Shiloh for this information.

A few questions:

1) Of the 25% who were partly in favor, was that 25% of the entire poll or 25% of the people partly or completely in favor?
2) Could you provide us with some of the reasons people listed for being partly in favor?
3) 61 and 29 add up to 90 ... was there a typo somewhere?

Thanks!


FLAG


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