As stated in the Draft EIS, “The Forest Service may reject an unreasonable MPO but cannot categorically prohibit mining or deny reasonable and legal mineral exploration operations under the mining laws.” [DEIS p. 7]
Then, when is a MPO unreasonable?
First, critical long-term environmental impacts will result from the proposed mining operation.
Second, when these impacts are so great that a complex series of mitigation efforts still will not reduce the risk to the health and safety of citizens, of the environment, and they will still remain significant and long-term (greater than a century) environmental impacts, reasonableness needs to be questioned.
Third, the major 11 issues in this EIS remain with dozens of impacts not be diminished by this operation.
Fourth, the impacts on groundwater resources for those who live in the Santa Cruz Valley and water quality for those who live on the Davidson Canyon watershed are beyond mitigation and solving the water “overdraft” issue remains less than reasonable.
Fifth, the “economic impacts” have been wildly exaggerated to such an extent some believe all of Tucson’s economic woes will be solved with 278 permanent jobs.
Sixth, the local jurisdictions, including the Boards of Supervisors from Pima County and Santa Cruz County and the Sahuarita Town Council, all have voted to oppose this mine.
Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, when asked for his approval of an earlier Rosemont mine, responded with “Not over my dead body.” [Green Valley News, 11 Dec 2011]
No matter how this MPO is “polished” to remains unreasonable, and does not pass the test for reasonableness, required by the Forest Supervisor, thus it must be rejected.
A proposed Forest Plan Amendment for Area 16 is a backdoor “pre-approval” trick to fool the public that this and the other three Augusta Resource mines are acceptable to the Forest Service. Four mines are clearly more unreasonable. The Area 16 forest plan amendment must be rejected.
"Bear in mind that this is the language of a fancy-pants $550,000-a-year university president at an official function."
Wasn't that a superb performance by our University of Arizona President Robert Shelton at the Memorial Service that up-lifted our city, county, state and country?
Fancy-pants weren't needed. No partisan politics was necessary. He showed he was worth every cent of a salary about half that paid to the U of A football and basketball coaches, too.
This is an excellent article that clearly points to the most significant issue for the human species. Our Earth can only provided for a limited number of humans before overpopulation will cause a major "die off". There are many factors that could cause this suffering to billions, including many different diseases, starvation, water and air pollution, and wars. Stabilizing and reducing the existing population should be a global priority.
By delaying births, we reduce population growth. The women who have early child births, especially prior to completion of high school which reduces their education, usually will live in poverty or near poverty unless they marry someone older and with an education. Without adequate knowledge, these immature women will suffer long-term consequences while raising their children, many times as single moms. This continues the cycle because their children may also be trapped in the lower economic brackets, as poverty begets poverty. Of course, there always are exceptions, but the poor are getting poorer.
By both delays in starting a family and reductions of the number in the family are critical for the future of our Earth! It's one person at a time, but delaying and extending the number of years between generations, is vital for the heath of our country and all countries. This is the best way to slow population growth.
As we continue to crowd out the other species, deplete the natural minerals and resources, our Earth and our neighborhoods, shrivel up and will die. Petroleum and natural gas are limited natural resources and can not be replaced.
Developing mines for minerals, such as copper, are very destructive of our lands, as the 10 miles of copper tailings that run parallel to I-19 make so vivid (see google earth for better views of the Green Valley mines) this permanent destruction. These mines presently deplete the Santa Cruz River groundwater aquifer, this necessity of life, by permanently removing 4 to 6 feet of water per year in the Tucson aquifer. With only 0.3% of all the world's water being potable and drinkable by humans, retention of this resource is critical for southern Arizona.
Population expansion must be contained, especially by the reduction of teenage mothers. Those teenage movie and rock star moms are a senseless aberration of prudent living without an understanding of their personal life changes. They are extremely poor role models for our junior and senior high school children! Graduating from college, or high school as a minimum, before having their first child should be a goal for all teenage girls.
I am a resident of Santa Cruz County who lives in the Santa Cruz County Active Management Area (SCAMA), adjacent to and south of the Tucson Active Management Area (TAMA).
SCAMA's southern border is also the US-Mexican border, where the Santa Cruz River flows into our county and AMA. Based on this flow and additional tributaries from the mountains, we are required to ensure that the water outflow from SCAMA to the TAMA is greater than the inflow. We are required to ensure we sustain our water resources. SCAMA is the ONLY AMA in Arizona that is sustaining its water resources.
The SCAMA must sustain its water resources IF the TAMA can have an assured water supply from the Santa Cruz River. No one debates this requirement.
As stated in the "2005 Santa Cruz County Comprehensive Plan" on pages 61 and 62, a population growth of some 31,000 people will put Santa Cruz County at the point where we will not be able to sustain our water resources. This has put a "natural" limit on a sustainable population capacity for this part of Santa Cruz County within the SCAMA boundary, over 90% of the county's population.
This realistic and mandated "limit" is critical for long-term growth planning, in particular for the determination of other infrastructure requirements, such as for development, utilities, transportation, schools and other public services.
I am VERY concerned that our northern neighbor is NOT maintaining its water resources in a responsible manner. The Water Infrastructure, Supply and Planning Study, created by the best team possible, needs to be implemented in a manner that controls water resources, in particular, by setting sustainability limits on growth in both residential and business sectors.
Personally, I have intervened in an ongoing water rate case for the Arizona-American Water Company, the largest water company in our state, before the Corporation Commission. I proposed using a steep, multi-tier rate schedule with very low rates for the lowest consumers and very high rates for the highest consumers of water with ten rate tiers. The lowest residential rates, for the first 4,000 gallons, is $1.50/1000 gallons, that increases at $0.50/1000 gallons in 4,000 gallon steps, to $6.00/1000 gallons for those who consume over 36,000 gallons. The lowest rate is adequate for low income families, such as those on fixed incomes, while the highest rates will send a clear "price signal" to those who use excessive water. The ten steps permit a consumer to be able to see how to lower their water bill. Similar conservation-oriented schedules must also send price signals to the business community. Water should never be considered as "free".
Furthermore, the largest water consumers should NOT be allowed to use groundwater but have easier access to CAP water, in particular, the local copper mines. They are in business and installation of an infrastructure to permit this should be encouraged, as their pumping of groundwater must cease. In fact, I proposed one Alternative in the ongoing Environmental Impact Statement for the Rosemont Copper Mine to require that mine to use only CAP water for its production activities.
Our groundwater tables must be sustained and used for local consumption; not for large commercial enterprises, it's way to valuable.
We in Santa Cruz County fully support this kind of Study that lays out hard choices about our future. These decisions must be made for long-term planning and not for today's economic benefits.
Thank you for an opportunity to provide an input to your Study, the most important planning mechanism to sustain the wonderful City of Tucson and Pima County.
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