Welcome to Save the Scenic Santa Ritas!
Save the Scenic Santa Ritas is a non-profit organization that is working to protect the Santa Rita and Patagonia Mountains from environmental degradation caused by mining and mineral exploration activities. Our current activities are centered around the proposed Rosemont Copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains.
Act Now! Sign our online petition and join our alert list!
These mines have NOT been approved! Permitting takes many years and requires numerous approvals from government agencies.With YOUR HELP, these mines CAN be stopped.Raise your voice! Keep our public lands public!
Check out Rosemont Mine Truth for the latest developments
Rosemont Mine Truth is a project of Save the Scenic Santa Ritas to call attention to some of the discrepancies in Rosemont Copper’s PR spin and provide the public the Truth about this misguided project.
Find out who your elected Representatives are and ask them where they stand on Rosemont
Click here to find your representatives in government and ask them where they stand on Rosemont. Feel free to share with them your views as well.
Keep our public lands public
The Rosemont Valley in the Santa Ritas is threatened by the Rosemont open pit copper mine proposal. The Patagonia Mountains and San Rafael Valley are threatened by exploration and mining proposals near Harshaw and Duquesne, and in the watershed of the Santa Cruz River.
Augusta Resource/Rosemont Copper wants the Forest Service to let them use roughly 3,500 acres of Coronado National Forest land as a dumpsite for thousands of tons of rock which would be excavated from the open pit. This dumping, along with water, air and noise pollution and increased heavy truck traffic, will drastically curtail or totally eliminate the current extensive recreational use of this part of the Santa Ritas by hikers, hunters, rock hounding groups, bicyclists, equestrians, off-road enthusiasts, and birders. If the Patagonia Mountains and San Rafael Valley are also impacted by mining activities, miles of public land in these areas would no longer be available for public recreation and enjoyment.
The Pima County and Santa Cruz County Boards of Supervisors, the towns of Oro Valley, Sahuarita, and Patagonia, the Green Valley Community Coordinating Council, the City of Tucson, the Hopi Tribe and the Tohono O’odham Nation have all passed resolutions opposing the proposed Rosemont Mine.
Over 12,000 people have signed petitions opposing the Rosemont Copper proposal, and over 7,000 have signed in opposition to mining in Santa Cruz County.
Our U. S. Representatives Gabrielle Giffords and Raúl Grijalva, as well as many state legislators, also support the protection and withdrawal of these important and scenic areas of the Coronado National Forest from the degradation of open pit mining.
Protect Southern Arizona’s Quality of Life
Scenic landscapes, open space, clean air, clean water, and abundant wildlife are what make Southern Arizona so special. The Santa Rita Mountains are home to 32 endangered or sensitive species; the Patagonia Mountains are home to 20. Southeast Santa Cruz County contains some of the only preserved remnants of the original grassland/forest landscapes of Southern Arizona. Open pit mining would permanently destroy wildlife corridors and habitat, and threaten our clean air and water.
Water in the desert is a finite resource. Mines use many thousands of gallons of our precious groundwater every day. Mines have unexpected leaks and spills than can contain toxic levels of heavy metals. There is NO guarantee that groundwater beneath a mine site or surface water and riparian areas downstream would NOT be impacted during mining or in the future.
Keep our Economy Sustainable
In the past, mining was a significant contributor to Arizona’s rural economy, but mining now contributes less than one percent to our state economy. The income to Pima and Santa Cruz Counties from recreation, tourism, and birdwatching far exceeds the economic benefits from mining. Scenic, pristine landscapes, clean air and water, wildlife, and other environmental attractions foster long term residency, tourism, and related industries. Mining is an end use industry. After ore bodies are played out, the mines, along with their economic activities are gone, leaving the natural landscape decimated forever.