Supporters of the proposed Rosemont Copper mine showed up in force, greatly outnumbering the opponents, at the first public hearing on the Draft EIS released by the US Forest Service yesterday in Tucson. [right, line of sight view from SR8. Credit, Rosemont Copper mine plan of operations]
This caught many observers by surprise (myself included). Mine opponents have been vociferous and backed by high-profile opposition from Pima County, some news media, and key political leaders. The expectation was that Save the Scenic Santa Ritas would rally their members to show up to speak out against the mine at this first meeting because it would be well covered by the news media.
Mine supporters seem to have become better organized and coordinated in recent months. Representatives from Tucson's business community attended last week's Arizona Mining Alliance luncheon meeting in Tucson last week to express their support for the mine, touting the economic benefits and arguing that fears of environmental impacts were dramatically overstated.
AZ Daily Star reporter Tony Davis this morning described the efforts by Rosemont Copper and allies to rally proponents.