The moment of decision for the Rosemont Mine, with its mile-wide pit, toxic waste, roads, and processing facilities — and together with it, the fate of our cherished Santa Rita Mountains — is coming ever closer. Despite the destruction of the natural and cultural resources they are entrusted to protect, two of the three principal federal agencies involved in authorizing the project — the U. S. Forest Service and Arizona Department of Environmental Quality — already have approved the Rosemont Mine.
These agencies have attempted to placate us with assurances that the mine, slated to be one of the largest copper mines in the world, won’t harm the water, wildlife or the sacred character of the land on which native peoples have lived for thousands of years. They use the nice-sounding phrase “resolution of adverse effects” to imply that that the adverse impacts from the Rosemont mine can be easily “fixed” or mitigated.
This is what the U.S. Forest Service and Canadian mining company Hudbay would like us to believe — that there would be no reduction to our municipal water supply, no loss of wetlands, no degradation of surface water quality, no loss of watershed function, no impacts to our natural, cultural, and human environment, and no impacts to our community and our citizens. This could not be farther from the truth. There simply is no mitigation adequate to offset the impacts from an open pit mine that would destroy more than 5,000 acres of mostly Coronado National Forest land.