Directed and Edited by Bryan O'Neal, Director of Photography: Ruben Ruiz, Produced by Roger Featherstone
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Two foreign mining companies, Rio Tinto and BHP - Billiton, have created a
subsidiary (Resolution Copper) that is proposing to mine a copper
deposit more than 7,000 feet deep east of Superior, Arizona. As
a first step, Rio Tinto is currently shopping around a land exchange
bill S. 409 (in the Senate) and HR 2509 (in the House) that would end an executive order banning mining from Oak
Flat Campground and privatize more than 2,400 acres of public land.
Concerned citizens are worried about the loss of Oak Flat Campground, a very popular recreation area. Birders, climbers, campers, canyoneers, bikers, and hikers enjoy the area throughout the year, all of whom would be greatly harmed if these lands were forever taken from public access. Oak Flat and the surrounding areas are critical for the religious freedom and substance of Native Americans.
All Arizona tribes oppose the Land Exchange. The National Congress of American Indians passed a unanimous resolution in June of 2009 opposing all legislation that would allow mining at Oak Flat. In addition, the Concerned Citizens and Retired Miners Coalition in Superior, AZ is opposed to the land exchange and has recently testified in Washington, DC against S. 409.