For centuries Apache people have held religious and coming-of-age ceremonies at Oak Flat, a sacred site in central Arizona's wild, beautiful and juniper-flecked Tonto National Forest. That's why the area was formally withdrawn from all mining 60 years ago by President Eisenhower.
Yet in December 2014 Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) led an effort to trade this sacred land away to international mining giant Rio Tinto in a midnight rider on a defense bill. This political double-dealing was an egregious betrayal of the Apache people and all other Americans who value public lands for what they are, not the profits they can produce for foreign corporations.
Thankfully Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) has introduced a bill to repeal the Oak Flat giveaway, S.B. 2242. This follows on the heels of a similar bill introduced last year by Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), H.R. 2811.
Now's the time to urge your senators to cosponsor S.B. 2242 and repeal the Oak Flat land swap. Together these bills offer an exciting pathway to save a precious place.
February 24, 2016 Action Alert ID# 341
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