Monday, February 17, 2020

Gosar and Kirkpatrick fight National Historic Place designation in Arizona for area including future copper mine

Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-AZ)
Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-AZ)
U.S. Reps. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) are working to block a Historic Place nomination with the National Park Service for Arizona’s Chi’chil Bildagoteel, or Oak Flat, which would prevent the development of a copper mine.

The site, which was previously nominated for National Historic place designation in June 2015, includes land that is part of the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange, which was signed into law as part of the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act. The National Park Service withdrew the previous nomination for the site, and Gosar and Krikpatrick wrote a letter last week asking the service to do the same for the current one, citing concerns about the nomination’s lack of transparency.

“Given the lack of detail in the filing, it is virtually impossible for our constituents who may be affected to participate in the public comment process,” said the letter. “No maps were published with the Jan. 21 notice, a formal address for the site is ‘restricted,’ the Feb. 5, 2016 deadline for public comments provides a mere 11 days for public comment, and the phrase ‘Chi’chil Bildagoteel Historic District’ is not well known to our constituents.”

The Rio Tinto PLC copper mine, which is set for development on the site, will create 3,700 jobs and contribute $60 billion to the state’s economy, according to projections.

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U.S. Representative Paul Gosar (AZ-4)

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