Re: the Nov. 28 article "Lawsuit aims at stopping Rosemont."
The Forest Service has jurisdiction over National Forest lands, but is required by law to promote mining unless some other agency intervenes. The Forest Service has no jurisdiction over wildlife, air quality, water quality or any of the other environmental damages alleged by mine opponents. Air quality is EPA, endangered species belong to Fish and Wildlife, water flow is Army Corps of Engineers, etc.
For the mine to proceed, all relevant agencies must assent to the proposal, not just the Forest Service, but the grounds on which the Forest Service alone may stop a mine are few. The landscape issue has no legal standing because National Forests are not National Parks, so views and tourism are not a principal part of their management. That is why we have National Parks. Forests are for exploitation — that is the law. The exploitation must be economic and not interfere with other legal exploitation, but that's all the Forest Service alone can control.
David P. Vernon
Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.