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Hudbay continues to move earth on its private land, already affecting the quality of life for residents, as this letter shows. Hudbay has stated it seeks to continue buying private and state lands when it can.
I sold my property near the Copper World project. The work is moving ahead so fast I am a stranger, a guest on my own drive.
The reclamation pond of toxic liquid from Hudbay’s Copper World will be about 300 yards directly upslope from my five acres.
Their lead U.S. attorney, myself and a neighbor who has been living up here for over 50 years have gone to lunch a few times. The attorney assured me the landscape is going to change.
That’s OK, I said. I’ll just plant arid-appropriate bamboo to the east and not look toward the Santa Rita Mountains in my backyard. Just gaze down to the valley across the state experimental grazing land, undeveloped.
But the construction. The peacefulness, solitude, deer and foxes and quail under my window are gone. The denning bobcat and kittens under one of my outbuildings didn’t return. The Gila monster under the woodshed never came out this year.
The reality is that my humble place — my own, no bank loan, having saved to make a cash purchase in an area I first laid eyes on years ago as an out-of-state student at the UofA from Oregon — the dream was achieved, as humble as the place was.
They put offices about 200 yards away. Voices and lights and trucks now, where it used to be silence and cicadas and a gentle wind through the grass. Good for the soul, the heart.
The place allowed me to feel alive. Balanced. Connected.
Before this, that is.
I don’t fault people who work for Hudbay. It’s our culture to grind up, to throw away. Convenient, even.
My goal of ownership was achieved with no debt on a working man’s worth, but it was meant to be where I would die, my final resting place.
They paid me above market value. But really, money can buy comforts, it cannot buy happiness.
The agreement included one year to move on.
I donated truckload after truckload to the White Elephant months ago. My material life is down to two duffel bags. I gave away my truck.
I returned to Oregon permanently to care for my dying father, whom I would never toss aside. And sticking around for my mom as she fades. No sense rebuilding a life when soon she will need care now that her husband of 65 years, my dad, is gone.
For my dad, I had formulated the most comprehensive cognition improvement formula available, no matter what big pharma ads tell you about their singular products. It noticeably helped him. The earthly story ends for all of us, no matter the intervention.
Such is life.
And a not-typical and adventurous one it continues to be. Most don’t believe me if I tell. Nothing fantastical, just widely varied, non-connected, decently traveled and in many cases dangerous and stupid. Forrest Gump.
The dryness of the desert landscape called me when I was in college.
With parched lips I tilt my head skyward, and open my mouth to catch a few drops of scattered, summer rain.