Save the Scenic Santa Ritas (SSSR) is a volunteer-based, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, based in Tucson, Arizona.
Our mission: to protect the scenic, aesthetic, recreational, environmental and wildlife values of the Santa Rita Mountains, Patagonia Mountains, Canelo Hills and San Rafael Valley through education and outreach, including protection of these areas from degradation due to mining activities.
We were formed in 1996 to protect the scenic, aesthetic, recreational and wildlife values of the Santa Rita Mountains through education and outreach, including protection of the Santa Ritas from degradation due to mining activities. The group, started in Sonoita, was originally called Swapwatch, and included members of the Sierra Club, Tucson Audubon Society, The Wildlands Project, the Sonoran Institute, League Of Conservation Voters, and the Wrong Mountain Wildlife Preserve, not to mention many local citizens from Tucson, Sonoita, Vail, and Elgin. We incorporated and changed our name to Save the Scenic Santa Ritas in late 1996.
Our main focus in 1996 was stopping the ASARCO/Forest Service land exchange in the Rosemont Valley of the Santa Ritas, and preventing an open pit copper mine there. The land exchange proposal was withdrawn in early 1998, but SSSR continued to monitor the Santa Ritas for new mining proposals.
In 2005 Augusta Resource, a small Canadian junior mining company bought the Rosemont Ranch and has proposed a large open pit copper mine on that property that includes dumping their tailings and waste on the adjacent Coronado National Forest lands, our public lands. We are tracking this proposal in addition to new mining and mineral exploration proposals in the Patagonia Mountains, including the Canelo Hills and San Rafael Valley.
Our short term goal is to prevent any mining from occurring in these areas. Our long term goal is to obtain permanent protection by supporting withdrawal of the Forest Service lands from mineral entry, and protecting the private lands from mining.
General contact information
Save the Scenic Santa Ritas