As a fourth-generation daughter of the Arizona-Sonora Desert, I marvel that the Forest Service endorses the Rosemont Open Pit Mine which exposes private, state and federal land to Barrel Alternative mining methods claiming to meet federal air quality standards; disturb less vegetation, springs and riparian areas; and minimize invasive plants and animals (AzDStar 6/7/17) . Still, mine waste and discharges will pollute miles of land and waterways In the Santa Rita Mountains (11/27/17).
Environmental studies report the Rosemont’s footprint will occupy jaguar habitat vital to their survival and recovery. (9/25/17), while animal protection groups lead initiatives in Arizona to regulate recreational hunting of wild cats: bobcats; mountain lions; endangered jaguars, lynx and ocelot (9/27/17).
This year, mining interests and federal agencies again pit themselves against environmental and wildlife advocates. Next year, I anticipate that those who lack a deep commitment to our land, air, water and wildlife will come at those who live and love here with both barrels.
Dolores Rivas Bahti
Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.