2012 Patagonia News

Local, State, and National News that affects the Patagonia, Arizona Area

Click on the headline to go to the news story.

2012 Patagonia News Archives

2 ranchers illustrate border- plan split

NOGALES, Ariz. – When Dan Bell drives through his 35,000-acre cattle ranch, he speaks of the hurdles the Border Patrol faces in his rolling green hills of oak and mesquite trees – the hours it takes to drive to some places, the wilderness areas that are generally off-limits to motorized vehicles, the environmental reviews required to extend a dirt road.
John Ladd offers a different take from his 14,000-acre spread: the Border Patrol already has more than enough roads and its beefed-up presence has flooded his land and eroded the soil. Arizona Daily Star 12/27/12

 

Town council OKs vehicle restrictions, protecting water supply

Patagonia Town Council members voted to implement weight and noise restrictions on town streets as well as protect the town’s water supply from mining projects during a regular meeting on Dec. 12. Weekly Bulletin 12/26/12

 

UA, government agencies release 4 photos of jaguar in Santa Ritas

Four late-night photos of an adult male jaguar roaming the northern Santa Rita Mountains were released Thursday to the public by University of Arizona researchers and federal and state wildlife officials. Arizona Daily Star 12/21/12

 

Children and safe roads in mind 

Recently one of our community leaders in Patagonia wrote to the Bulletin of her belief that the worries over truck traffic on North 3rd Avenue were overblown and the agitation of one limited group (“Misdirected blame for traffic woe,” by Eloise Mendoza Walsh, Dec. 5). Her points were interesting and well-taken, but might have left the impression that only the Montessori Elementary School community was voicing concerns. Weekly Bulletin 12/19/12

 

Decision on new Rosemont study to come within 60 days

A decision on whether Rosemont Copper will be required to complete a new mine study should be made within 60 days, Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll was told recently by a top official in Washington.
The supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed open pit copper mine, which is partly on U.S. Forest Service land in the Santa Rita Mountains, has been requested by environmentalists after Rosemont made changes to its mine proposal. Green Valley News 12/18/2012

 

New photos show entire jaguar

Ten photos of a male jaguar have been taken recently in the northern Santa Ritas, a federal official said. The photos, at least some of which show the jaguar’s entire body, were shot from Oct. 25 to Nov. 12, most near the proposed Rosemont Mine site, by four remote cameras. Arizona Daily Star 12/16/2012

 

Report: Mineral royalties untapped 

The dollar value of hard-rock minerals mined on federal land by companies is unknown because royalties from the sale of those minerals aren’t paid to the federal government, a new report said Wednesday. Arizona Daily Star 12/13/12

 

West is Best: How Public Lands in the West Create a Competitive Economic Advantage

This report finds that the West’s popular national parks, monuments, wilderness areas and other public lands offer its growing high-tech and services industries a competitive advantage, which is a major reason why the western economy has outperformed the rest of the U.S. economy in key measures of growth–employment, population, and personal income–during the last four decades. Headwaters Economics November 2012

 

Approval process for mine criticized

A new Washington, D.C.-based mining advocacy group is criticizing the U.S. Forest Service for its recent decision not to rule on the Rosemont Mine this month as previously planned. The group, Mined in America, said in a news release that Arizona workers are “paying a heavy price for this unreasonable postponement.” Arizona Daily Star 12/9/2012

 

Mining’s Circle of Death

Between the proposed Rosemont Copper mine in the Santa Rita mountains and Wildcat Silver’s Hermosa and Oz Exploration’s Providencia plan of operation in the Patagonia mountains, this area’s nearly 50,000 human inhabitants face the potential of a toxic siege from surface (open pit) mining. Patagonia Regional Times 12/5/2012

 

In Support of Mining

My overall take on mining is probably different from most folks around here and guaranteed to be objectionable to almost everyone. Extractive mining brings a host of complicated considerations not easily limited to either a “pro-mine” or “anti-mine” argument. Patagonia Regional Times 12/5/2012

 

Mine Plan of Operation Submitted for Hermosa Project

Wildcat Silver has submitted a Mine Plan of Operation to the Coronado National Forest for their Hermosa Project, located approximately 5 miles southeast of Patagonia. Patagonia Regional Times 12/5/2012

 

Third Ave. Neighbors Raise Road Traffic Issues

On November 14, several residents whose property surrounds Bowden’s equipment yard made an appearance at the Patagonia Town Council meeting, to voice their opinions on potential traffic and safety issues related to use of that area of Third Avenue by Wildcat Silver Company’s vehicles. Patagonia Regional Times 12/5/2012

 

Misdirected blame for traffic woe

Letter to the Editor by Eloise Mendoza Walsh of Patagonia Weekly Bulletin 12/5/2012

 

Mandatory Criteria Proposed for Mining Projects

The Patagonia Planning & Zoning Board (P&Z) has approved a resolution proposed by Michael Stabile, now awaiting review by the Town Council. the resolution seeks to ensure protection of the environment from the effects of mining operations, and reads as follows: Patagonia Regional Times 12/5/2012

 

Equipment Yard Cited for Permit Violations

In our November issue, PRT ran an article about Brent Bowden’s recent leasing of a storage shed in his Third Avenue equipment yard, and related permit issues. As we noted in that article, improvements may need to be made to the storage shed on that lot, which is to be used as an office by Wildcat Silver Company. Patagonia Regional Times 12/5/2012

 

Support Snafu –Many of Rosemont Copper’s ‘partners’ say they’re no such thing

In Rosemont Copper’s alternate reality, a nature-adoring mine has already become fact, and big-money jobs lurk just over the hill—in this case, in the Santa Rita Mountains south of town. Tucson Weekly 12/6/2012

 

Debate rages over Florence copper-mine project

FLORENCE — More than 300 people packed Florence High School’s gym Wednesday night to voice their displeasure with or support for a controversial, proposed, underground copper mine within the town limits. Arizona Republic 12/6/2012

 

Supervisor taking opposition to Rosemont to Washington

Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll is taking his opposition to the proposed Rosemont Copper mine to Washington, D.C., where he will meet with congressional and Bureau of Land Management officials. Green Valley News 12/1/2012

 

ADEQ to hold meeting on proposed Florence mine

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality will hold a public hearing in Florence on Wednesday regarding a controversial proposed copper mine. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at Florence High School, 1000 S. Main St. Arizona Republic 11/30/2012

 

More business, better security

An interesting meeting Monday brought together politicians and business leaders committed to changing how commerce is handled on the Arizona border with Mexico. Organized by the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas, the gathering near Chandler focused on how the entire state, and this region in particular, can realize an economic benefit through improved relations with Mexico. Nogales International 11/30/12

 

Mine’s plan would protect riparian area

To compensate for the Rosemont Mine’s potential impacts to the jaguar and other imperiled species, Rosemont Copper is proposing to protect and restore wetlands, seasonal ponds, riparian areas and other open spaces on a 1,200-acre ranch near Patagonia in Santa Cruz County. Arizona Daily Star 11/25/2012

 

Jaguar photo taken near Rosemont

An endangered jaguar’s spotted tail was photographed this fall in the northern Santa Rita Mountains, not far from the proposed Rosemont mine site, according to public records and Forest Service officials. Arizona Daily Star 11/25/2012

 

Residents, school officials voice concerns about Wildcat-related truck traffic

Nearly a dozen Patagonia residents, including representatives of the local Montessori school, told town council members during their Nov. 14 regular meeting that they are unhappy about increased traffic between DM Engineering and Excavating and the new Wildcat Silver office on North Third Avenue. Weekly Bulletin 11/21/12

 

Is this the best future for our young people?

A recent op-ed piece suggested that proposed open-pit mines in the Santa Rita and Patagonia Mountains can “provide future opportunities to our community and our youth” (“Mining could be key to many youths’ future,” by Joel Kramer, Oct. 30.) It also stated that “some say” that this “would create jobs and money for Santa Cruz County.” What the article did not say is that “some” are providing an extremely biased picture. Who is behind these mining proposals? Nogales International 11/20/12

 

Rosemont decision put off yet again

The federal government won’t make a decision on the Rosemont Mine as expected next month and it’s not clear when it will, the Coronado National Forest’s chief said Friday in announcing the latest of many delays for the $1.23 billion project. Arizona Daily Star 11/17/11

 

SSSR: Augusta Resource’s Rosemont copper mine facing questions and mounting opposition

Two Arizona Congressmen and a southern Arizona county executive have raised serious questions about Rosemont Copper Company and its proposed copper mine near Tucson. They have asked the U.S. Forest Service to prepare a new Draft Environmental Impact Statement before allowing Rosemont and its Canadian parent company, Augusta Resource Corporation, to begin digging the mine. PR Newswire 11/15/2012

 

Wildcat Silver project will start on mine plan

Wildcat Silver is transitioning from more exploration drilling to developing a mine plan of operation, according to a company official who briefed the Arizona Mining Alliance on Friday. Arizona Geology Blog 11/11/2012

 

New Rosemont flap centers on power-line capacity

Opponents of the proposed mine have made an issue out of the power line’s size. It’s not because a less powerful line would be less obtrusive, but because Rosemont Copper also has mineral rights in other areas of the Santa Rita Mountains. If it later tries to mine those as well, it would need new approvals for more power if a smaller line were built originally. Arizona Daily Star 11/11/2012

 

Mines threaten our unique ‘sky islands’

Guest Opinion: After a long and thoughtful process, I feel compelled to share my own insights and opinions regarding the current mining proposals, threatening to forever alter the character and environments of our one-of-a-kind sky islands. I have heard the pro-mine arguments and I have narrowed them down to one basic element. Namely, that it will somehow create new jobs and thus boost the local economy. Allow me to poke a few holes in this flimsy premise. Nogales International 11/06/2012

 

Wildcat’s New Office May Face Permitting Problems

Wildcat Silver opened its new office in Patagonia with much fanfare on October 11 at 539 North Avenue, in a building recently constructed by Brent Bowden. The opening included a ribbon cutting and the delivery of a check to the Patagonia Volunteer Fire Department for $10,000. However, town building and health department records appear to reveal shortcomings in Bowden’s permitting process as it applies to the proposed office use by Wildcat. Patagonia Regional Times 11/03/2012

 

A Long List of Hurdles Face Rosemont Mine

A refrain that we often hear is “The mine is a done deal”.  Not so – this is an idea that mine proponents often trumpet, but reality is that Rosemont has yet to clear even one of the many regulatory hurdles that it must confront.  Let’s run down the list: Patagonia Regional Times 11/03/2012

 

The Rosemont Mine

Everyone has an opinion.  We have freedom of speech which allows us to share what we have to say.  Now, you may ask yourself what is your opinion on the Rosemont Cooper Mine. I am only in 7th grade, so I may not be aware of all of the things going on in my community, state, or country. Patagonia Regional Times 11/03/2012

 

Save the Patagonia’s (with Science!)

Right now, the diverse ecosystems that make the Patagonias a biodiversity hotspot, tourist destination and birder’s paradise are immediately threatened by mining explorations with plans for open-pit mines. Sky Island Alliance 10/30/2012

 

Mining could be key to many youths’ future

Guest Opinion: Recent advances in metal abstraction technologies make mining cost-effective and some say this would create jobs and money for Santa Cruz County. Nogales International 10/30/2012

 

New ranger station open house Nov. 3

The United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Sierra Vista Ranger District, announces the Grand Opening of their new Sierra Vista Ranger Station. The public is invited to attend the grand opening ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 3, from 1 to 3 p.m. Sierra Vista Herald 10/27/2012

 

Arizona Game and Fish comments on federal jaguar habitat proposal

Game and Fish has asked that the proposal be withdrawn because conservation of the species is entirely reliant on activities in the jaguar’s primary habitat of Central and South America to be successful. Lands in Arizona and New Mexico make up less than one percent of the species’ historic range and are not essential to the conservation of the species. AZGFD News Release 10/26/2012

 

Mine backers blast Barber on call for new impact study

The Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce held a news conference Thursday afternoon to slamU.S. Rep. Ron Barber for unnecessarily trying to delay the ongoing review of permits for the mine. The Rosemont mine is proposed for an area southeast of Tucson in the Santa Rita Mountains outside Sonoita. Arizona Daily Star 10/26/2012

 

Mining company wants railroad to help clean lead contamination

Hundreds of miles of railroad lines in three Missouri counties will continue to spread lead contamination, making a $70 million cleanup a waste of time and money, say lawyers for the mining company that footed the bill through a bankruptcy settlement. Arizona-based American Smelting and Refining Co. agreed in 2009 to pay nearly $1.8 billion to 19 states to settle pollution claims in the largest environmental bankruptcy case in U.S. history. St. Louis Post-Dispatch 10/26/2012

 

Cat Fight: Environmentalists and ranchers at odds over jaguar land

The Center for Biological Diversity is pressing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to set aside millions of acres of land in Arizona and New Mexico for jaguars. The executive director of the New Mexico Cattle Grower’s Association calls the idea “ridiculous.” KVOA News 4 Tucson 10/24/2012

 

Mining Sky Islands

To learn more about this irreplaceable landscape and the threats it faces, staff attorney Greg Buppert and I traveled to Patagonia, Arizona, a town of fewer than 1,000 people located just over 10 miles from the Mexican border.  From there, we ventured out into the Patagonia Mountains, guided by our local partners from the Patagonia Area Resource Alliance and Ron Pulliam, ecologist and Defenders board member. Words and photos cannot fully convey the sense of awe one feels when hiking through these mountains. Defenders of Wildlife Blog 10/23/2012

 

Change in Rosemont’s plans may slow AZ permit process

The protracted debate over a proposed air quality permit for the Rosemont Mine could get longer. Rosemont Copper might need to revise its request for the permit, an Arizona Department of Environmental Quality official said. That’s because of changes to the mine plans recently announced by the company, said Trevor Baggiore, deputy director of ADEQ’s air quality division. Arizona Daily Star 10/21/2012

 

The Big Dump

“When the Clean Water Act was passed in 1972, it specifically prohibited mine waste from being disposed of in waterways, and the mining industry operated and permitted mines for years under those requirements,” says Bonnie Gestring of Earthworks, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting the environment from damage due to mineral and energy development. “Now, we have this new regulation that reverts responsible mine-waste disposal back to a century ago.” Vegas Seven 10/18/2012

 

Mine owners sue Arizona town over attempt to thwart project

The operators of a proposed copper mine in Florence want a federal judge to void a new town law that would effectively thwart the project. Attorneys for Curis Resources contend the ordinance limiting how much sulfuric acid anyone can have or use is aimed not at public safety, as town officials claim, but solely to make it impossible for the company to do the proposed leaching project. That makes it a special law which is illegal under the Arizona Constitution. Arizona Daily Star 10/18/2012

 

Wildcat mining inaugurates new facility

Wildcat Silver officially opened a new facility in Patagonia during a ceremony last Thursday at in which representatives for the mining company also presented a sizable check to the local fire department. In addition, Kathi Noaker, a chairperson for the Patagonia Area Resource Alliance, a group that opposes Wildcat’s operations, said, “We’re happy that Wildcat Silver gave the fire department $10,000, but the fire that was caused by Wildcat Silver was estimated to cost $300,000 and so where is the other $290,000?” Weekly Bulletin 10/17/2012

 

Agents find 1,000-year-old clay pot in Patagonia Mtns.

A 1,000-year old clay jar was discovered by Border Patrol agents in the Patagonia Mountains in what appeared to be a drug runner’s lookout camp. The intact jar is more than a foot in diameter and based on its design appears to have been made by the HoHoKam people around 1,000 AD, Coronado National Forest archeologist Bill Gillespie said after seeing it. A fragment of another vessel was found nearby. Weekly Bulletin 10/17/2012

 

Wildcat Silver will be a good neighbor

Wildcat Silver, as articulated as its core principals, is be committed to protecting the environment, maintaining safe and healthy business practices, supporting local governments and community organizations. Most importantly we will be a good neighbor. (Lucero is vice-president of sustainable development for Wildcat Silver.) Nogales International 10/16/2012

 

Canada should rein in its criminal mining companies

At the end of 2010, a woman from Guatemala sued a Canadian mining giant in Toronto, asking 12 million $ for the killing of her husband. A year before, the chief of security at HudBay’s Fenix mining project had beaten and killed community leader Adolfo Ich in an unprovoked attack witnessed by many. The killer remained employed for another year and was arrested only last week. EJOLT Blog 10/16/2012

 

Scientists: Camera captured jaguar SE of Tucson

Arizona Game and Fish Department officials say outside experts agree with state biologists that a hunter’s trail camera captured an image of a jaguar late last month. It was sighted southeast of Tucson on Sept. 23. Arizona Daily Star 10/12/2012

 

Copper Mining Company Allowed to Write Copper Mining Regulations

The New Mexico Environment Department’s upper management adopted Freeport McMoRan’s proposal in order to accommodate Freeport’s need to routinely pollute groundwater with acid rock drainage, metals and other contaminants in the course of its mining operations near Silver City, NM. In essence, it throws out protections for New Mexico groundwater. News Release NMELC  10/12/2012

 

Boom, Bust, Boom: Flagstaff Author Bill Carter Explores The Effects Of Copper Mining

Arizona currently supplies about half of the copper used in the U.S. But, mining doesn’t come without significant impact on the environment and the people who live and work in mining towns. KNAU Arizona News 10/11/2012 Note: Bill Carter will be at the Patagonia Library February, 2013.

 

Deep Dirt Farm Institute taking root in Patagonia

Kate Tirion looks at land differently than we mere mortals do. Standing on the hill that overlooks Tirion’s Deep Dirt Farm Institute, most of us would simply admire the view of the foothills rising up into the Santa Rita Mountains. But Tirion knows this land on a much more intimate level. Weekly Bulletin 10/10/2012

 

Filmmaker responds to CEO

Augusta Resource CEO Gil Clausen’s statement in response to InvestigativeMEDIA’s documentary “Cyanide Beach” is a clumsy attempt to deflect public attention from the truth. John Dougherty investigated Sargold Resource Corporation’s role in a Sardinia mine and produced the 24-minute documentary “Cyanide Beach.” The facts are simple as they are ugly. Weekly Bulletin 10/10/2012

 

China to cut copper consumption, consultant says

“Copper consumption in China will contract this year for the first time since 2008 as demand falters and inventories climb in the largest user, before rebounding in 2013, according to Simon Hunt Strategic Services. The drop in China’s consumption may hurt prices and cut profits at mining companies, including Phoenix-based Freeport-McMo-Ran Copper & Gold Inc.” Arizona Daily Star 10/10/2012

 

Border Patrol finds artifacts in Patagonia Mountains

Sonoita Border Patrol agents discovered several artifacts while they were patrolling in the rugged Patagonia Mountains last week. The agents found an intact ancient pot and a piece of another pot south of Patagonia. CBS 5 KPHO 10/09/2012

 

Four foreign-owned companies are proposing mining operations at sites within a 20-mile radius of Patagonia.

Here is a brief update on their status: Wildcat Silver Company (Canada); Oz Minerals Explorations (Australia); Regal Resources Inc. (Canada); North American Potash Developments, Inc. (Canada) Patagonia Regional Times 10/05/2012

 

 The Lessons of Cyanide Beach

Cyanide Beach, a documentary created by Investigative Media, was shown on September 29 and 30 at the Tin Shed Theater in Patagonia. Presented by Patagonia Area Resource Alliance (PARA), the movie portrays the outcome of an unsuccessful open pit gold mine operated by Sargold Resource Corporation…and details the related business history of five Sargold executive board members who are now a part of Augusta Copper Company. Augusta is the parent company of Rosemont Copper, and is also affiliated with Wildcat Silver Co. Patagonia Regional Times 10/05/2012

 

The Forest Service Explains Its Role to a Questioning Audience

Coronado National Forest Supervisor Jim Upchurch, appearing relaxed and personable, began his discussion by explaining the Forest Service’s role regarding mineral exploration and mining. While they are mandated by federal policy under the 1872 Mining Law to enable mineral explorations and mining, they are also the federally designated caretakers of our public lands, obligated to protect our environment. Patagonia Regional Times 10/05/2012

 

To Those Who Care About Our Land

When Coronado Forest Supervisor, Jim Upchurch, addressed the community of Patagonia on September 6, he made it plain that his job was to usher the mining corporations through the maze of Federal, State and local regulations, and to minimize any problems they may face from a public that is principally a nuisance to them. There was little indication that the Forest Service actually cared about the concerns quoted in the job description of Forest Chief, Tom Tidwell. Patagonia Regional Times 10/05/2012

 

Augusta CEO calls film a “hit piece”

Augusta Resource/Rosemont CEO Gil Clausen on Aug. 23 released the company’s official response to the documentary “Cyanide Beach,” which is published in its entirety below. Augusta declined a request from the Green Valley News for an interview about the documentary. Weekly Bulletin 10/03/2012

 

Game and Fish analyzing new photo of possible endangered cat sighted southeast of Tucson

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is currently analyzing a recent trail camera photo of either a jaguar or an ocelot sighted southeast of Tucson. The photo includes only the tail and a small portion of a hind quarter of the animal, making positive identification more difficult. AZ Game & Fish News 10/02/2012

 

An Amateur Rancher Brings the Wastelands of the Southwest Back to Life

What’s a Manhattan society girl to do when she finds herself living on acres of desiccated, left-for-dead earth in the Southwest? If she’s Valer Austin, she rolls up her sleeves and does the miraculous—bringing it all back to lush life. Oprah Magazine 9/2012

 

Guest Column: We must not trade away our birthright: the pristine Santa Rita Mtns.

Anyone who has ever driven the Scenic Byway that is Route 83 knows the birthright of natural beauty we have stretching out along those rolling miles. But very soon decisions will be made about construction of the Rosemont Copper Mine, a mile-wide open pit that will dramatically change that landscape. Arizona Daily Star 9/27/2012

 

Rosemont, and some big questions

Two years ago, John Dougherty knew absolutely zero about the proposed Rosemont Mine. Today, he could qualify as a leading expert. He’s also the mind behind “Cyanide Beach,” a new documentary that calls into question the business practices – perhaps even the character – of five men on the board of Augusta Resource, Rosemont’s parent company. Weekly Bulletin 09/26/2012

 

9th Circuit okays mining vehicle limits in Forest

The Forest Service has the authority to limit motor vehicles and mining activities in California’s Eldorado National Forest, the 9th Circuit ruled Wednesday. The federal appeals court in San Francisco rejected a challenge to a 2008 decision by seven miners and prospectors and the group Public Lands for the People. Courthouse News Service 09/26/2012

 

Modern mining nothing like the past

I read Manuel C. Coppola’s editorial (“Mines are good shot for working class,” Weekly Bulletin, Sept. 19) and was troubled by his nostalgic notion of mining. Modern mining is nothing like the mining of our area’s past. Nogales International 09/26/2012

 

Let’s keep it civil

Reaction to my editorial supporting mining (“Open minds to the mines,” NI, Sept. 18) brought forth ugly shades of intolerance. I must say most responses have been intelligent and well-meaning and have made me reflect more on my position. Nogales International 09/25/2012

 

We need sustainable development

I agree that the citizens and those we elect to govern our beautiful Santa Cruz County should work to create “decent jobs and an improved quality of life,” as Manuel C. Coppola wrote in “Open minds to the mines,” NI, Sept. 18. I strongly disagree that the mining industry is the answer. Nogales International 09/25/2012

 

Enough Rosemont

It’s not like area residents have never been exposed to the environmental hazards of copper mining. For years we have lived with air and water pollution issues not to mention the multi-colored mine tailings that have forever destroyed scenic mountain views to the west. Green Valley News 09/25/2012

 

In last act before recess, house passes broad assault on public health protection

Today the most anti-environmental U.S. House of Representatives in history passed a bill, H.R. 3409, that broadly guts many of our basic environmental and public health laws, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. EarthJustice 09/21/2012

 

Rescind alunite property option agreement

North American Potash Developments announces that in respect to the agreement entered into to acquire an interest in certain mineral rights located at the northern end of the Patagonia Mountains, Santa Cruz County, Arizona, the Company and the optionor [Sulfate Resources] have agreed to terminate the agreement by mutual consent. North American Potash Developments Press Release 09/21/2012

 

Open minds to the mines

As long as the mining companies are respectful of both the culture and the environment, I say, Bienvenidos. I say yes to the mines. Nogales International 09/18/2012

 

Jaguar Versus the Copper Mine

There’s an extraordinary 70,000-square-mile region that encompasses part of southeastern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico and northwestern Mexico. This area, called the Sky Islands, is characterized by forested mountain ranges divided by desert or grassland valleys. High Country News 09/17/2012

 

State Supreme Court: Arizona has no right for water on trust land

Settling a decades-old battle, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that millions of acres of state trust land in Arizona have no federally reserved water rights. Daily Courier 09/14/2012

 

Rosemont Deception of the Day: Dodging County Code

Rosemont Copper’s parent company, Augusta Resource, wants to deploy an array of lights to operate the proposed Rosemont open pit copper mine 24/7 on the Coronado National Forest south of Tucson. Augusta is now brazenly claiming the Rosemont mine is not subject to the lighting code. Rosemont Mine Truth 09/14/2012

 

The Absurdity of American Empire – Sacrifice Zones

What happens when you force communities, families and entire ecosystems to kneel before the dictates of the marketplace? You get what Chris Hedges, co-author with Joe Sacco of Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, calls “sacrifice zones.” Common Dreams 09/12/2012

 

Balancing mining with forest care

With plenty of law enforcement in the shadows, representatives from the Coronado National Forest held what turned out to be a rather civil discussion about mining activity in the area. In addition to town officials like Mayor Ike Isakson, who was chosen to be the moderator, close to 100 people attended the meeting at the Patagonia Public Schools cafetorium. Nogales International 09/12/2012

 

Teck Resources admits polluting Columbia River for 100 years; Damage to be assessed

There used to be a beach in Washington state called Black Sand Beach. Only it wasn’t sand that lined the banks of the Columbia River. It was slag, a pebbly waste laden with arsenic, mercury, lead and an alphabet soup of other metals left over from processing zinc at a smelter upstream, across the border in British Columbia. HuffPost Business Canada 09/10/2012

 

Curis shares sink amid mine delay

Curis Resources is losing money, and its stock price has plummeted as the Canadian company has battled opponents the past two years over a proposed Florence copper mine. Arizona Republic 09/10/2012

 

Safety of acid-injection mining technique debated

Rising copper prices have changed the equation, prompting Curis Resources to embark on a plan to extract the copper by injecting sulfuric acid into formations more than 400 feet underground, where it would strip the fractured rock of copper. The mix of acid and minerals would be pumped back to the surface for processing. Arizona Republic 09/08/2012

 

Bitter debate over mining in small town Florence

The object of this debate is a unique type of mine that would inject millions of gallons of sulfuric-acid solution deep into the ground to leach out the copper. It is a cost-effective method of mining, but the community is less certain about its safety. Arizona Republic 09/08/2012

 

Rosemont says new plan cuts water use

More copper produced – yet less water sucked from the aquifer, less pollution, less juice needed to power the mine and mill, and fewer trucks on the road. Rosemont Copper now predicts that scenario for its proposed Rosemont Mine, due to recent changes in its plans to produce significantly more copper of one type and to cancel production of another. Arizona Daily Star 09/08/2012

 

Speculation gone bad: Augusta directors had Sardinian mine pollution experience

Augusta Resource has never operated a mine. Its proposed Rosemont copper mine southeast of Tucson is a speculative venture. It will succeed or fail based on the resources put into it, the economics of the industry, whether the project can comply with U.S. environmental and other laws, and the outcome of impending elections. However, six out of seven AR board members were speculating on another mine in Sardinia, Italy at the time that the Rosemont property was purchased. The company that they directed was called Sargold Resource, owners of 90 percent of the Sardinian Furtei SGM mine.
The Furtei mine is a cautionary tale of speculation gone bad that covers the period 2003-2008 and is still impacting many lives. Sargold Resource investors bought 90 percent of a closed and polluting mine; with the remaining 10 percent owned by the Region of Sardinia. The public-private company was called “SGM”. Willcox Range News 09/05/2012

 

Josh Brodesky: County’s challenges to mine well worth cost to taxpayers

Rosemont Copper supporters can’t stand that Chuck Huckelberry is putting up such a fight, but I’m OK with it. They say he is spending big with public money to kill jobs and thwart economic development. But since we all will have to live with the open-pit mine instead of scenic desert, spending $190,000 in public funds to make it (hopefully) more environmentally responsible seems like chump change. Arizona Daily Star 09/06/2012

Boise Headwater Mining Exploration put on hold because of water concerns

U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge found that the U.S. Forest Service’s actions were “arbitrary and capricious” when it approved the CuMo Exploration Project without examining potential effects to groundwater. He remanded the agency’s environmental document for further study and consideration. Idaho River Reflections Blog 08/30/2012

 

Guest Column by James Sturgess of Rosemont Copper – Center for Biological Diversity plays the bully by sounding the Jaguar alarm

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a notice soliciting comments on a proposal to designate critical habitat for the jaguar in New Mexico and Arizona. The request appears to be based as much on legal threats by the Center for Biological Diversity to sue if they don’t get their way as it is on science. Arizona Daily Star 08/31/2012

 

Lawsuit seeks to reinstate Pygmy Owl’s protected status

Conservation groups have sued to restore endangered status protection for small owls found in Southern Arizona. The Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife filed the lawsuit this week in federal court, saying that fewer than 50 cactus ferruginous pygmy owls exist in the state. Arizona Daily Star 08/24/2012

 

People Power Essential to saving Endangered Species

Now, a study published in the internationally acclaimed journal Science has found that citizen action on behalf of vanishing plants and animals is crucial in ensuring they get the protection they need to survive. HuffPost Green 08/22/2012

 

Kitty Corner: Jaguars win critical habitat in U.S.

In a  plan published yesterday, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed designating 838,232 acres as critical jaguar habitat. That means federal agencies cannot fund or authorize any activities that might “adversely modify” the earmarked land, which covers four stretches of mountain in southeastern Arizona, a section of the Peloncillo Mountains on the Arizona–New Mexico border, and a tiny piece of New Mexico’s San Luis Mountains. Scientific American 08/21/2012

 

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for Jaguar

We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), propose to designate critical habitat for the jaguar (Panthera onca) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). In total, we propose to designate as critical habitat approximately 339,220 hectares (838,232 acres) in Pima, Santa Cruz, and Cochise Counties, Arizona, and Hidalgo County, New Mexico. Federal Register 08/20/2012

Rosemont foes decry enviro plan as deficient

A draft environmental impact statement on the proposed Rosemont Mine is “clearly deficient” and needs major revisions, opponents of the mine said Tuesday. Coronado National Forest Supervisor Jim Upchurch, who met with the mine opponents, said plans for publishing a final impact statement in December remain in effect. Arizona Daily Star 08/22/2012

 

New Business offers pick your own produce

“I’m the plant nerd and she’s the plant artist,” said Mary McKay, describing herself and her sister Denise Purvis. The two women have joined forces to create a new pick-your-own vegetable business on State Route 83 in Sonoita that they have named Harris Heritage Growers in honor of their late father, Richard Harris. Nogales International 08/10/2012 

 

Gold, Silver and Copper are all heading lower: Elliot Wave Analyst
Yahoo Finance 08/21/2012

US Seeks to shield Jaguar Habitat
Arizona Daily Star 08/18/2012 

Feds: 1300 square miles of S. Arizona is Jaguar Habitat
Arizona Daily Star 08/17/2012

Arizona Mining: University Professors weigh in with concern for communities, wildlife and water
Earthworks Blog 08/17/2012

New Study: Citizens play crucial role in identifying species that need Endangered Species Act protection
Press Release, Center for Biodiversity 08/16/2012

Mark Ruggiero heads to USFS position in Sierra Vista, Arizona
NPS Digest 08/2012

Town of Florence, Arizona outlaws copper mining process
Phoenix Business Journal 08/08/2012

State take charge of Rosemont air permit
Arizona Daily Star 08/04/2012

Modern mining doesn’t contaminate the environment, except when it does. More than 100 sickened in toxic mining spill in Peru
SF Gate 08/03/2012

Sustained by effluent, The Santa Cruz River faces an uncertain future
Tucson Weekly 08/02/2012

Forest supervisor sites 4 key areas needing review on Rosemont Mine
Arizona Daily Star 08/01/2012

Cienega Creek, other Southeast AZ streams increasingly dry (Including Redrock Canyon)
Arizona Daily Star 07/29/2012

Hazmat truck traffic picks up on SR 82
Nogales International 07/27/2012

Rosemont will cost more, Augusta says
Canadian Mining Journal 07/25/2012

Canadian mining goliaths devastate Mexican indigenous communities and environment
Truthout 07/25/2012

Raven’s Way, Nature sanctuaries raise environmental awareness
Sierra Vista Herald 07/24/2012

Mexican town takes on world’s richest man
Latino Fox News 7/22/2012

Rare Arizona Snail One Step Closer to Endangered Species Act Protection
Press Release, Center for Biodiversity 7/23/2012

Light from the proposed Rosemont Mine could cause problems for southern Arizona observatories
Tucson Weekly 7/19/2012

Beyond the Politics of No
High Country News 7/18/2012

Ten Metals and Mining Stocks to Sell Now (Augusta is one of them.)
Investor Place 7/16/2012

Copper Demand, Prices Expected to Drop
Arizona Daily Star 7/15/2012

Texas Judge Rules Atmosphere, Air Deserve Protection
Arizona Daily Star 7/12/2012

Tourism spending in AZ approaching pre-recession levels
Arizona Daily Star 7/12/2012

House votes to streamline federal mining permit process
The Hill Blog 7/12/2012

House defeats all Dem amendments to GOP mining bill
The Hill Blog 7/12/2012

Underground mine in Catalina Mountains receives county OK
Arizona Daily Star 7/11/2012

House advances strategic mineral mining bill
The Hill Blog 7/11/2012

White House opposes House mining bill, but stops short of veto threat
The Hill Blog 7/10/2012

Rosemont decision may be in December
Arizona Daily Star 7/06/2012

Rosemont ramps up quest for CAP flow
Arizona Daily Star 7/05/2012

Regal Resources Files New Technical Report on Patagonia (Sunnyside) Property and Clarifies Information Regarding Squaw Peak Abandonment
Marketwire 7/03/2012

Rosemont facing “extreme scrutiny” for $404 million in construction loans as cash runs low
Rosemont Mine Truth 7/02/2012

Arizona copper-mining row pits economy against scenery
BBC News 6/29/2012

Lawsuit Filed to Protect Rare Orchid in Footprint of Proposed Rosemont Copper Mine
Press Release, Center for Biological Diversity 6/29/2012

Rosemont timetable as murky as ever
Arizona Daily Star 6/27/2012

Forest Service Approves Grand Canyon Uranium Mine Despite 26-year-old Environmental Review
Press Release, Center for Biological Diversity 6/26/2012

Regal Receives Final Draft of Sunnyside/Patagonia Project Technical Report
Marketwire 6/20/ 2012

Land Grab Masked as a national security measure passes US House of Representatives
Press Release, Wilderness Society 6/19/2012

House OK’s waiver of of enviro laws at border
Arizona Daily Star 6/19/2012

CEO of Augusta Resource, the parent company of Rosemont Copper, is under fire for “exceedingly poor decision-making”, “gross failures of judgment” and “serious conflicts of interest”
Rosemont Mine Truth 6/13/2012

A change in copper futures trading strategy could sink values to new lows and undermine the value of mining stocks
Seeking Alpha 6/7/2012

Gas company officials address residents’ concerns
KOLD 6/6/2012

Altar Valley pipeline plan fuels host of area concerns
Arizona Daily Star 6/5/2012

Update on Wildcat’s Proposed Drilling at Harshaw
Patagonia Regional Times 6/3/2012

Ninth Circuit Court Rules Against 1872 Mining Law
YubaNet 6/1/2012

Canadian firm boosts plans to seek silver near Patagonia
Arizona Daily Star 6/1/2012

Sun to Set on Commodities Super-Cycle: Morgan Stanley Strategist
CNBC 5/29/2012

Rosemont Power Line Approved by state but Corporation Commission Adds Hurdles to be Met
Arizona Daily Star 5/24/2012

Forest Service Withdraws Approval of Wildcat Plan
Weekly Bulletin 5/23/2012

Rosemont’s Entitlement
Rosemont Mine Truth 5/22/2012

Forest Service Awards one of largest ever Timber Contracts to Agency Insider
Center for Biodiversity Press Release 5/18/2012

Retirees Join Environmentalists in Fighting Arizona Copper Mine
High Country News 5/14/2012

Pima County to Appeal Aquifer Permit
Arizona Daily Star 5/9/2012

Landowner Wins Wetlands Stewardship Award
Nogales International 5/8/2012

Wildcat Silver Announces Departure of Chris Jones, the President and CEO
Wildcat Silver Press Release 5/7/2012

Arizona Corporation Commission: Foreign Corporate Failures Can Be Concealed
Save the Scenic Santa Ritas Press Release 5/2/2012

After Years of Struggle, Opponents Still Fighting Pinto Creek Mine
Green Valley News 5/2/2012 

Hydrologist Warns of Risk to Sonoita Plain
Weekly Bulletin 5/2/2012

Freeport-McMoRan will pay 6.8 Million Dollar Fine in Department of Justice Settlement for damages related to the Morenci Copper Mine
Eastern Arizona Courier 4/29/2012

WITHDRAWAL OF DECISION MEMORANDUM FOR THE HARDSHELL MINERALS EXPLORATION PROJECT
United States Forest Service 04/28/2012

Border Proposals Could Leave Parks Unprotected (H.R. 1505)
Epoch Times 4/26/2012

Sonoran Institute Comes Out Against Rosemont Mine
Sonoran Institute Western Dispatch 4/25/2012

Mining project permitting streamlining bill introduced in U.S. Congress, H.R. 4402
Congressman Mark Amodei (R-NV)  4/19/2012

Conservations Groups Further Challenge Hardshell (Wildcat Silver) Project in Court
PARA, Defenders of Wildlife, Sky Island Alliance press release 4/19/2012

An Unworthy Opponent
High Country News 4/12/2012 

Where’s the Beef?
Patagonia Regional Times 4/6/2012

A Few Words About Sodium Cyanide
Patagonia Regional Times 4/6/2012

Monitoring and Mining- How Can We Safeguard our Community?
Patagonia Regional Times 4/6/2012

Port of Guaymas set to expand
Arizona Daily Star 4/5/2012

Plan to Widen SR 83 Rejected
Weekly Bulletin 4/4/2012

Rosemont Copper CEO Admits Company Didn’t File Disclosures in Arizona
Save the Scenic Santa Ritas Press Release 4/2/2012

Arizona Bill Would Let Mining Firms Shroud Pollution
Arizona Republic 4/1/2012 – UPDATE: Gov. Jan Brewer signed this bill into law.

Court Upholds Public’s Democratic Right to Participate in Government
WildEarth Guardians Press Release 3/21/2012

Wildcat says precautions were necessary
Weekly Bulletin 3/7/12

A Closer Look at Wildcat’s Projections

The Patagonia Regional Times 3/2/2012

Hike turns controversial
Weekly Bulletin 2/29/2012

VIDEO: Locals Voice Concerns Over AZ Mine Proposal
Defenders of Wildlife blog 2/9/2012

Potash Exploration Targeted for Red Mountain Area
Patagonia Regional Times 2/6/2012

Mining in Patagonia Draws Full House
Patagonia Regional Times 2/3/2012

Movie premier draws crowd
Weekly Bulletin 01/27/2012

’11 wildfire tied to mine site
Arizona Daily Star 1/16/2012

Block drilling in Patagonias, lawsuit urges
Arizona Daily Star 1/12/2012

Lawsuit aims to prevent silver-mine drilling southeast of Tucson
Arizona Daily Star 1/11/2012

Forest Service Sued For Decision on Hardshell Project
Patagonia Regional Times 1/5/2012

Filing of 222 Claims “Very Unusual”
Patagonia Regional Times 1/4/2012

Making Mine Open Pit
Patagonia Regional Times 1/4/2012

Groups file suit to stop Hardshell Project
Weekly Bulletin 1/4/2012

Link to 2011 Patagonia News