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Lawmakers Challenge Proposal to Have Oak Flat Listed as Historic Site

01 March 2016   Jessica Swarner | Cronkite News
Members of the San Carlos Apache tribe came to Washington last summer to protest a copper mine proposed for Oak Flat, an area near Superior that they said is sacred to them Photo by Jamie Cochran/Cronkite News

Being Listed on the Historic Register Would Highlight the Property’s Uniqueness but Would Not Ultimately Protect It from Mining

WASHINGTON – Supporters of a copper mine proposed for Oak Flat have been given until Friday to make the case that the area, deemed sacred by the San Carlos Apache, should not be designated a historic site.

Reps. Paul Gosar, R-Prescott, and Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Flagstaff, asked the National Park Service to withdraw the Oak Flat application to the National Register of Historic Places, saying it was confusing and vaguely worded in an attempt to undermine the proposed Resolution Copper mine.

They noted, among other things, that the application did not cite “Oak Flat,” as the area is commonly known, but called it the “Chi’chil Bildagoteel Historic District.”

“We are concerned that the use of the phrase ‘Chi’chil Bildagoteel Historic District’ and a lack of geographic information is an attempt by these opponents to limit transparency and public comments from constituents that disagree with this nomination, and an attempt to undermine our bipartisan bill that is estimated to create approximately 3,700 new jobs,” the lawmakers’ letter said.

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