I don’t know about you, but I have been deeply concerned about all the recent news about Hudbay and their sudden intrusion on the west side of the Santa Ritas. I have spent a lot of time researching this since I found a letter stuck on my gate from Hudbay advising me of their plans to do some test drilling next to my property back in April. I did a parcel search on Pima County’s website under ROSEMONT and found they own 31 parcels of various sizes all around the mountains, big and small totaling over 1,000 acres. They say they have 4,500 [acres], so I missed a few. They own all the private land on the west side of Sycamore Canyon from the mountains to a 40-acre parcel of state land (they are currently attempting to buy that). On the north end of that state land is where Sycamore Canyon subdivision is currently building. If they get the state land, that should connect them to acreage they own on Alvernon, which will get them to Sahuarita Rd and the Interstate. That gets them around the subdivision.
I moved out here to the Vail/Corona de Tucson area 23 years ago because I was drawn to the beauty and peacefulness of it. We have enjoyed the wildlife that the open desert areas provide habitat for. I gotta believe a lot of people reading this came here for the same reasons.
Assuming you have read a few of the many articles about this, I want to point out a few things about the current situation. I am referencing from Hudbay’s June press release as well as several articles by Tony Davis in the Daily Star.
Construction of Phase I is supposed to last three years, meaning mining could start in 2027. Phase I will operate exclusively on the west slope for the first two years.
Hudbay believes it doesn’t need a Clean Water Act permit to discharge dredge and fill material in washes on the west slope. Because the washes that they are currently dumping in and grading over only flow after it rains, they are not considered “waters of the United States” which would be protected by the Clean Water Act. Several conservation groups and three tribes have filed notices of intent to sue to stop the company’s ongoing grading.
Cathy McGrath, Corona de Tucson.