The Green Valley News reports that a federal judge in Tucson will hear arguments Monday that the Forest Service improperly included Rosemont Copper officials in meetings with cooperatiing agencies. [right, view of proposed mine site. Credit, Rosemont Copper] The paper reports:
The case was filed by Save the Scenic Santa Ritas, Farmers Water Co. and others. Defendants include the U.S. Forest Service, Rosemont Copper, Arizona Mining Association and other mining interests that have joined the suit to support the Forest Service.
The plaintiffs allege the Forest Service violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act by allowing Rosemont to participate in meetings of cooperating government agencies, but the government maintains that FACA does not apply to cooperating agency meetings. The plaintiffs argue that the Forest Service violated the Freedom of Information Act but says it has complied with FOIA after posting numerous Rosemont-related documents on its web site.
AZGS is one of the cooperating agencies and attended many of the meetings where someone from Rosemont Copper was present. Sometimes Rosemont was there to make presentations. Other times it was to answer questions or to respond to requests from agencies.
The Save the Scenic Santa Ritas group is planning to protest outside the courthouse on Monday.