Yesterday's Arizona Daily Star carried three stories on the proposed Rosemont copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains. The front page headline story reports that the mining company will use "dry stacking" a mining technique developed for extreme arid climates to use only 5,000-8,000 acre feet, half as much water as expected for an operation of its size. The water table in the Upper Santa Cruz basin is dropping a reported 2-4 feet per year from exising agriculture, residential, and industrial uses of more than 20,000 acre feet. The paper says AZ Dept. of Water Resources satellite interferometry data shows subsidence of 3 cms last year, centered over the pecan groves in the area.
The local section of the paper says Rep. Raul Grijalva and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords asked the Forest Service to start over with the public comment scoping process that has been under way for more than two months.
Third, there is a report that the Forest Service defends its selection of SWCA Environmental Consultants, noting the company has carried out other mining projects of similar scope in Arizona and has worked repeatedly for the Forest Service.
I also saw an guest op-ed in the Tucson Weekly by a self-described opponent of the Rosemont mine offended that our local public radio station KUAT, accepted donations from the company to be a sponsor of NPR's Morning Edition. The premise of his complaint is that "Companies that haven't been caught doing something unseemly rarely waste resources running feel-good ads to enhance their images." Does that mean all the sponsors of public radio and tv are engaged in unseemly activities? I noted here a few months ago that both Rosemont and "Save the Scenic Santa Ritas" had dueling blurbs on KUAT during the morning drive to work .
The rhetoric seems to be heating up in recent weeks, along with summer temperatures. [above: credit - Save the Scenic Santa Ritas]
Meanwhile, the Sky Island Alliance gave Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll their Public Service Award, in large part for his "exceptionally strong and vocal opposition to the planned Rosemont Mine."