Save Oak Flat from copper mining

Boulders and desert shrub landscape against a blue sky.

October 9, 2023   

Background: Oak Flat, also known as Chi’chil Bildagoteel, is located within the boundaries of the Tonto National Forest in Arizona and holds great cultural and spiritual importance as ancestral land for the San Carlos Apache tribe and other nearby indigenous communities. This arid desert ecosystem is recognized as a Traditional Cultural Property on the National Register of Historic Places and was safeguarded from mining activities in 1955 through the actions of President Eisenhower.

Oak Flat is currently facing a significant threat from copper mining. Resolution Copper plans to employ a mining technique that would result in the collapse of the land, forming a massive crater measuring one mile in width and 1000 feet in depth. The proposed mining operation not only poses a threat to indigenous sacred sites, but also could severely deplete and contaminate the area's vital water resources.

The Save Oak Flat Act, also known as H.R. 1351, aims to repeal the land exchange provision and protect Oak Flat from mining and other forms of development. 

Faith Reflection: 

"The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it." Psalm 24:1 (NIV)

"Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground." Exodus 3:5 (NIV)

Action: Urge your congressional leaders to cosponsor and support the Save Oak Flat Act, H.R. 1351

Photo above: Oak Flat in the Tonto National Forest of Arizona is at risk from a proposed copper mine. Photo courtesy of Lars Åkerson