Credo Action

Say NO to mining sacred Native American land in Arizona

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    Say NO to mining sacred Native American land in Arizona

    We’ve been working hard to reverse the terrible giveaway of Oak Flat – a sacred Native American site in Arizona – to foreign-owned mining company Resolution Copper, a backroom deal that was snuck into a last-minute, must-pass defense bill in the U.S. Senate.

    We’ve already been pushing for the Senate to pass legislation introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders that would repeal this deplorable land grab and protect it for good. But we also now have an opportunity to flood the U.S. Forest Service with comments in an open public comment period and tell them we oppose the destruction of this sacred Native American land.

    We need to oppose this terrible deal in every way possible, and this public comment period is one powerful opportunity to send that message. Submit your comment before July 17 and help us defeat the Oak Flat mining project.

    Tell the U.S. Forest Service: We say NO to mining sacred Native American land in Arizona.

    Foreign-owned mining conglomerate Rio Tinto, which owns Resolution Copper, has repeatedly sought control of this copper-rich land over the past decade, lobbying Congress more than a dozen times since 2005.1 They got their wish granted when Arizona’s Republican Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake snuck last minute language into a must-pass 2014 defense bill transferring the land directly to the Rio Tinto mining company.2 And it’s no surprise these two senators were behind it: McCain has received campaign contributions from Rio Tinto subsidiaries for years, and Flake – before being elected to Congress – actually lobbied for a Rio Tinto subsidiary in support of a massive uranium mine in Namibia.

    In addition to the important religious, cultural, and historical significance of Oak Flat, Apache residents are worried about the dangerous environmental impact of copper mining in the area. Since copper mining is so destructive, environmentalists are concerned that “since the mining industry is often exempt from portions of environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act, the invasive copper mining project could damage the area’s water – a resource many Native Americans claim a spiritual obligation to protect."3

    Nearly half-a-million CREDO activists have already signed petitions to the U.S. House and Senate urging them to repeal this offensive, undemocratic giveaway of sacred Native American land. Now it’s time for the U.S. Forest Service – who is directly responsible for overseeing and assessing the environmental impact of this project – to hear our voices.

    Tell the U.S. Forest Service: We say NO to mining sacred Native American land in Arizona.

    Thank you for your activism.

    1. Serene Fang, "In Arizona, a controversial federal land swap leaves Apaches in the lurch," Al Jazeera America, February 20, 2015.

    2. Lydia Millet, "Selling Off Apache Holy Land," The New York Times, May 29, 2015.

    3. Jack Jenkins, "Citing Religious Freedom, Native Americans Fight To Take Back Sacred Land From Mining Companies," ThinkProgress, July 24, 2015.