The entirety of a letter to Congress summarizing support of H.R. 1884 Save Oak Flat Act by a large number of conservation, indigenous, and religious groups is reposted below:

Please Support H.R. 1884, The Save Oak Flat Act

Dear Member of Congress,

We write on behalf of the undersigned conservation, Indigenous, and religious groups representing millions of members and supporters to urge you to support H.R. 1884, the Save Oak Flat Act. This bill repeals authorization of a land exchange that would facilitate the proposed Resolution Copper Mine, a project that would result in the destruction of a Native American sacred area called Oak Flat, or Chi’chil Bildagoteel, and cause significant environmental harm to wildlife, public lands and regional water supplies.

Located in the Tonto National Forest in central Arizona, Oak Flat is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in recognition of its irreplaceable cultural, historical and religious importance for the Western Apache and other Tribes. Oak Flat is part of the ancestral homelands of not only the Apache, but also the Yavapai, Hopi, Zuni and other Tribes in the Southwest. The National Congress of American Indians, the largest and oldest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization and the Inter-Tribal Association of Arizona, representing 21 tribal governments in Arizona, support the protection of Oak Flat and oppose the land transfer.

The irreplaceable cultural resources at Oak Flat and the surrounding lands that are part of the 2,422-acre exchange would be destroyed by the mine as they sink into a crater almost two miles wide and 1,000 feet deep. The area also has a highly visited campground, world-renowned rock- climbing sites and is popular with other recreationists; it provides habitat for hundreds of migratory birds and a diverse array of other species, some of which are endangered.

The proposed mine, a limited liability corporation owned by Rio Tinto and BHP, would cause extensive dewatering of fragile, finite aquifers over a 300-square-mile area in a state that is already facing severe water shortages from an unrelenting drought, and it risks polluting ground and surface waters that would threaten the area’s people and wildlife alike. In all, 15,000 acres — 23 square miles — of wildlands would be destroyed and hundreds of billions of gallons of water permanently removed from regional aquifers that many Arizona towns and farmers rely on.

The Oak Flat area was withdrawn from mineral entry more than 60 years ago by President Eisenhower in recognition of its high value to the American people. It is this prohibition on mining that Rio Tinto and BHP seek to evade by obtaining possession of the land directly. The proposed land exchange legislation failed to pass Congress in 5 previous attempts starting in 2005 under careful congressional consideration and much debate. It was only through a literal midnight rider that the land exchange was authorized by attaching it to the unrelated must-pass 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (Section 3003) without any debate.

The rider mandated completion of a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) to be published prior to consummation of a land exchange. Unfortunately, the FEIS was fast-tracked by the former Trump administration and includes numerous deficiencies that violate the National Environmental Policy Act and other federal laws. In March the Biden administration withdrew the FEIS and put the exchange on hold.

However, if the land-exchange legislation is not repealed, Oak Flat will be transferred from public ownership into the private hands of Resolution Copper no later than 60 days after a revised FEIS is published, potentially later this year, regardless of the environmental harms disclosed in the document. Oak Flat would be forever lost to current and future generations of Tribal members and the broader American public.

This land is important to all Americans, but none more so than the Western Apache peoples, generations of whom have used it for ceremony, healing and sustenance across the centuries and continue to do so to this day. Important religious ceremonies that cannot take place anywhere else are still held at Oak Flat.

A sacred area such as Oak Flat should never be traded away to an international mining company for profit: It was an egregious error for Congress to authorize this land exchange in the first place. We urge you to help correct that mistake by supporting H.R. 1884, the Save Oak Flat Act, and working to get this legislation passed as soon as possible.


Anthropocene Alliance
Arizona Faith Network
Arizona Mining Reform Coalition
Avalon Gardens
Avalon Organic Gardens & EcoVillage
Avalon Universal Enterprises
Chispa Arizona
Citizen Anthropocene Alliance
Citizens Committee for Flood Relief
Claiborne Avenue Alliance
Coalition for Wetlands and Forests
Comunidad Maya Pixan Ixim
Concerned Citizens Retired Miners Coalition
Conservation Council For Hawaii
Defenders of Wildlife
Earth Ethics, Inc.
Education, Economics, Environmental, Climate and Health Organization (EEECHO)
Elders Climate Action – Arizona Chapter
Endangered Habitats League
Environment America
Environmental Protection Information Center
Fairy Forest Lane
Franciscan Action Network
Freshwater Future
Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness
Friends of Santa Cruz River
Friends of the Earth
Friends of the Land of Keweenaw
Gateway Neighborhood Association, Mt. Shasta
Gila Resources Information Project
Global Change Music
Global Community Communications Alliance
Grand Junction Area chapter- Great Old Broads for Wildlife
Great Basin Resource Watch
Great Old Broads for Wilderness GreenLatinos
High Country Conservation Advocates Higher Ground
Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors (HECHO)
Howling For Wolves
Indigenous education Institute
Information Network for Responsible Mining
International Marine Mammal Project of Earth Island Institute
John Muir Project
Klamath Forest Alliance
Lafayette Parish Flood Forum
Laguna Acoma Coalition For A Safe Environment
League of Conservation Voters
London Mining Network
Lost Coast League
LowCountry Flooded States of America
Malach Consulting
Mauna Kea Education and Awareness
Mount Graham Coalition
National Wildlife Federation
New Mexico Environmental Law Center
Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness
Northern Jaguar Project
Nuclear Information and Resource Service
Ocean City, Flooding Committee, Chapter of Higher Ground
Oceanic Preservation Society
OVEC-Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
Oyu Tolgoi Watch
Patagonia Area Resource Alliance
PopUP Forest
Pueblo Action Alliance
Rachel Carson Council
Residents Working Against Huron River Flooding
Rosewood Strong
Santa Fe Forest Coalition
Save James Island
Save Lake Superior Association
Save Our Sky Blue Waters
Save our Soundside, Inc.
Save the Dells
Save the Scenic Santa Ritas
Sierra Club
SoCal 350 Climate Action
Soulistic Hospice
St. John’s Episcopal Church
Stop Elmhurst Flooding
Sunrise Tucson
Suppressed Histories Archives
The Rewilding Institute
The Wilderness Society
Tucson Audubon Society
Tucson Great Old Broads for Wilderness
Turtle Island Restoration Network UASPR
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
United Pillars of Aloha
Watershed Management Group
Weber Sustainability Consulting
West Street Recovery
Western Environmental Law Center
Western Watersheds Project
Wild Arizona
WildEarth Guardians

Download the PDF of the letter here:

See Chairman Terry Rambler’s press release supporting HR 1884 Save Oak Flat and the many other Letters of Support archived here:
Letters of Support for H.R. 1884 Save Oak Flat Act