Oak Flat tourism will help us more than the Resolution Copper mine


Opinion: Oak Flat tourism may end the boom and bust cycle we’ve seen for years near Superior. Resolution Copper would destroy what we are trying to build.

I am the president of the Superior Association of Concerned Citizens and Retired Minors, which has 250 members and is growing. We are adamantly opposed to the mine resolution proposal, and we strongly support the Save Oak Flat law that is before Congress.

If enacted, the bill would prevent a pending land swap that would transfer land from the Tonto National Forest which includes Oak Flat to Resolution Copper Co. President Dwight Eisenhower protected Oak Flat from all mining in 1955 .

The land swap would deprive Oak Flat of these protections. The Resolution mine will destroy the Oak Flat and Superior groundwater supplies as we go through a period of prolonged extreme drought.

We cannot allow that to happen.

Bisbee and Jermone courted the tourists. So are we

Superior’s long-term economic prosperity rests on protecting the beautiful landscape that surrounds our community, conserving our water resources for future generations, and preserving Oak Flat, which is a sacred Native American cultural site on the National Registry. historic places as a traditional cultural asset. . Oak Flat is also a world famous recreational and climbing site that attracts tourists to Superior.

We’re about to become the next Bisbee and Jerome. These historic mining towns were abandoned after their mines closed. They have both grown into vibrant communities based on tourism. We have the ability to do this by protecting Oak Flat.

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I am a fifth generation miner born and raised in Superior. I worked in its underground mine between 1973 and 1982 when Magma Copper closed it without warning and abandoned the city. I was a union negotiator in 1982.

After Magma abandoned Superior, I worked at the BHP underground mine in San Manuel from 1986 until it closed in 1999. BHP has done nothing for San Manuel since then and the city’s commercial district has gone. collapsed.

Why depend on a mine that will one day close?

The Resolution mine would once again make Superior economically dependent on a project that will inevitably shut down. And when that happens, the community’s economy collapses, people move out, and families struggle. We need to break this cycle.

Here’s what happened to Superior when the Magma mine closed in 1982:

  • 1,200 people were dismissed without notice.
  • Several shops closed.
  • People have lost their homes and cars.
  • Many families have divorced.
  • The population has grown from 4,500 to 2,800.
  • School revenues, sales taxes, and government share have plunged.
  • The company-owned hospital closed and families were left without insurance.

I served on the Superior City Council from 1989 to 1999 when we had to rebuild the city’s economy. We have focused on recreation and tourism.

Another view: Resolution A copper mine would boost our city’s economy

We, and subsequent councils, have transformed the city and created a solid foundation for Superior’s economy to grow without resolution. These actions included:

  • Consolidate the sewer and fire quarters to reduce property taxes.
  • Construction of a new high school.
  • Obtaining new fire trucks and ambulances.
  • Construction of a new municipal park and a swimming pool.
  • Issuing of a deposit of 1 million dollars for the improvement of the streets.
  • Stimulate the development of new housing.
  • Creation of an industrial park.
  • Opening of a medical establishment at a sliding scale.
  • Create a series of community events to generate income.

It’s time to end this boom-bust cycle

Resolution Copper is owned by Rio Tinto and BHP, two of the world’s largest foreign mining companies. Resolution doesn’t care what happens to Superior and will only invest enough money in the city to generate good publicity.

If Resolution cared about Superior, why did the company refuse to be annexed, which would have generated tax revenue for Superior?

If Resolution cared about good jobs, why hasn’t it hired union workers for $ 2 billion worth of construction over the past decade?

Superior needs Oak Flat for their recreation, just as the Apache tribe of San Carlos and other Indian communities need Oak Flat for their religious and spiritual ceremonies.

Superior’s sustainable future lies first and foremost in the end of the boom / bust mining cycle.

Henry C. Munoz Sr. is the president of the Concerned Citizens and Retired Miners Association of Superior. He worked as a miner for over two decades, including about nine years at the Magma copper mine in Superior before it closed. Contact him at [email protected]

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