Deny Mineral Extraction Related Applications in the Empire-Fagan Valley sign now

WHEREAS, the Arizona State Land Department is considering the renewal of three sets of mineral lease matters in the Empire-Fagan Valley that would result in the establishment of new calcium carbonate mines (limestone quarries), including:
1) the Seel Application, Leases 11-003227 through 11-3238, located in the northern Empire Mountains immediately west of and adjacent to the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area;
2) the California Portland Cement Application, Leases 11-035596, 11-035597, 11-079816 and 11-079817, situated in the drainage to Pima Countys proposed Davidson Canyon Natural Preserve; and
3) the W.R. Henderson Arizona Properties, Surface Land Use Permit #23-109779-11, located just south of the intersection of Wentworth and Sahuarita Roads and located within Pima Countys proposed Santa Rita Mountain Park;

WHEREAS, the proposed mining activities are located in Pima County, approximately 10 miles southeast of Tucson in the northern Empire Mountains, Davidson Canyon and Mt. Fagan area;

WHEREAS, this region (commonly known as the Empire-Fagan Valley) has been targeted for natural and cultural resource conservation as part of Pima Countys Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan and much effort and financial resources have already been applied toward this goal by Pima County, local organizations and individual citizens;

WHEREAS, this region includes parts of the proposed Davidson Canyon Natural Preserve, the Santa Rita Mountain Park, the Las Cienegas Natural Conservation Area and the Scenic Sonoita Highway;

WHEREAS, the lands proposed for mining have high open space value, significant watershed values, are important wildlife corridors, provide prime wildlife habitat, and are home to abundant game and non-game species such as deer, javelina, mountain lion, bobcat, quail, hawks, golden eagles, bats and many species of songbirds;

WHEREAS, these lands have high cultural values and are set aside extensively for cattle grazing; this area is a part of the Cienega Valley Reserve, a treasured landscape that was recently received national recognitions as one of seven Endangered Cultural Landscapes in America;

WHEREAS, the economy and quality of life of the citizens of Pima County and southern Arizona are significantly dependent upon recreation and tourism and hence on abundant nearby public land;

WHEREAS, the areas targeted for mineral extraction are located in close proximity to many residential dwellings and near areas where residential development is occurring rapidly; the impacts of mining activities (such as noise, vibration and fly-rock from blasting, impacts to the water table, reduced air quality from fine dust, potential danger to school children from haul trucks, and reduced property values) would have a significant material impact on the local human population;

WHEREAS, open-pit limestone quarries and attendant mining activities are not compatible with any of the environmental, cultural or human values outlined above;

WHEREAS, the mission of the State Land Department is to manage the State Trust lands and resources to enhance value and optimize economic return for the Trust beneficiaries, consistent with sound stewardship, conservation, and business management principles supporting socioeconomic goals for citizens here today and generations to come; and to manage and provide support for resource conservation programs for the well-being of the public and the State's natural environment;

WHEREAS, mining on these lands are believed to permanently preclude many alternative future uses and limit future revenues from these lands;

WHEREAS, there are many reasons to believe that the public interest of Pima County and southern Arizona will be negatively impacted by the proposed mining activities on state trust lands in the Empire-Fagan Valley,


NOW THEREFORE, we the undersigned do hereby:

A. Strongly object to the renewal of these mineral lease renewal applications (and any other actions supportive of allowing mineral extraction and mining in the Empire-Fagan Valley) and urge the Arizona State Land Department to deny them based on the arguments outlined above;

B. Further, prior to the determination whether to grant these applications, request a public hearing regarding these matters with reasonable notice to all home and property owners in the Empire-Fagan Valley and all local, Pima County and state governmental agencies, departments, and school entities interested in the issues at such times and places convenient to the parties concerned in Pima County, Arizona.

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  • 12 November 2015784. John Amator
    These lands proposed for mining have high open space value, significant watershed values, are important wildlife corridors, provide prime wildlife habitat, and are home to abundant game and non-game species such as deer, javelina, mountain lion, bobcat, q
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Information

Diann SingletonBy:
ReligionIn:
Petition target:
Arizona State Land Department, Mr. Mark Winkleman, Commissioner and the Honorable Janet Napolitano, Governor of the State of Arizona

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