An update on the proposed Rosemont Copper Mine

·By Lisa Froelich
Madison Clark, posing as Rosemont’s greenwashing mascot “Heidi” (see the real Heidi at http://www.rosemontcopper. com). Photo courtesy of Murray Bolesta/

A “Rosemont Roast”

On May 21st, local community members and county leaders called out Rosemont Copper for its attempts to “green” its image and buy local support for its proposed open-pit copper mine in the environmentally- sensitive Santa Rita Mountains southeast of Tucson. Rosemont earned an “Excellence in Greenwashing Award” from prominent local and national conservation organizations sponsoring the event. Pima County Supervisors Richard Elías and Ray Carroll presented awards to lampoon Rosemont Copper and also recognized community members who have worked tirelessly against the proposed mine, including Nancy McCoy of the Duquesne House B&B in Patagonia, Mark Thomson of Plaza Liquors in Tucson, and Elizabeth Webb and Charlotte Cook of the Empire Fagan Coalition.

The event was sponsored by the Center for Biological Diversity, Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection, Defenders of Wildlife, Save the Scenic Santa Ritas, Sierra Club, Sky Island Alliance, and Tucson Audubon Society.

Draft Environmental Impact Statement

As expected, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) regarding the proposed Rosemont mine has again been delayed. Previously scheduled to be released in the second quarter of 2010, the Forest Service says it will now be released in the fourth quarter of 2010. The delay will allow the Forest Service to complete field surveys for a native plant (Hexalectris revoluta) that is found coincident with alternative project sites on Coronado National Forest land. The time will also accommodate detailed groundwater hydrology studies that are being conducted on potential impacts and mitigation measures for alternatives under evaluation. Following this release, there will be a 90-day public comment period.

Stay tuned for information about public workshops and meetings organized by both Save the Scenic Santa Ritas (SSSR) and the Forest Service in conjunction with the release of the DEIS. For a list of upcoming events, visit here.

The Sierra Club is a member and supporter of Save the Scenic Santa Ritas.
Lisa is the Coordinator for Save the Scenic Santa Ritas.Images in this article are licensed under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license.

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