RELATED NEWS, 11/19: Augusta Corp. of Canada drills scenic Santa Ritas; Pima Supervisor Ray Carroll (R) busts them for pollution.
TUCSON -- Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ7) introduced legislation yesterday to remove lands in the Coronado National Forest and certain lands owned by Pima County from future hard rock mining claims.
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ8) is also supporting this bill.
"The community concerns on the current and future mining proposals in our area create the need for this legislation," stated Grijalva. "The environmental damage from mining in these special places will be too immense and I felt compelled to pursue legislation to prevent future mining."
The legislation removes from future claims Pima County-owned preserves and leased lands, where the federal mineral estate is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The legislation does not affect valid existing claims, which may be mined in the future if they are shown to contain a valuable mineral deposit.
Earlier this year, Grijalva held a hearing in Tucson to receive testimony on the environmental impact of the antiquated 1872 Mining Act and on the current proposal for copper mining on the Rosemont Ranch in Southeastern Arizona specifically. A bill to reform the 1872 Act, cosponsored by Rep. Grijalva, recently passed the House.
Pima County and Santa Cruz County supervisors, the City of Tucson, Oro Valley, and the Town of Patagonia requested that the Santa Rita Mountains be withdrawn from mining earlier this year. The Town of Oro Valley and Pima County also weighed in support of reform of the 1872 Mining Act.
- adapted from RG office