Visit Las Cienegas NCA
Visit Las Cienegas National Conservation Area - about 45,000 acres of lush, rolling grasslands and woodlands.
Cienega Creek traverses through the NCA.
For directions and to visit, click here
Resources Studies - Mining in the West
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Mining in the West
Despite the promise of jobs, business income, and tax revenues, it is widely known that the environmental impacts of extracting minerals from the ground are often profound and permanent. Some places are clearly better suited for mining than others in terms of how economic benefits are weighed against environmental and social costs. With years of experience examining mining projects across the West, the Sonoran Institute understands the economic importance of mining and the need for copper and other metals.
Taking a Stand Against the Rosemont Project
The Sonoran Institute is actively opposing a mining project near Sonoita, Arizona, where Rosemont Copper proposes digging an open-pit mine beside one of the most beautiful and ecologically important areas in the Southwest. Worse, new research reveals that the mine could devastate Cienega Creek, a vital water resource and one of the last free-flowing rivers in Arizona. We have called on the Forest Service to conduct new and independent investigations on Rosemont’s potential water impacts.
“The Cienega and Sonoita Valleys are home to many working ranches, wineries, and farms, as well as the popular Las Cienegas National Conservation Area," says Emily Brott, project manager for Sonoran Institute. "Placing a new open pit mine in this area, we believe, will may jeopardize and even eliminate the water that feeds Cienega Creek--which could devastate the local agriculture- and tourism-based economy.”
- Emily Brott, Southern Arizona Project Manager, Sun Corridor Legacy Program
Sept. 17, 2013 - A final decision by the Coronado National Forest on the controversial Rosemont Mine will likely be delayed until March, the forest supervisor said Monday. Read the Arizona Star story.
Sept. 15, 2013 - To offset the impact of the proposed mine on the environment and wildlife in the region, Rosemont plans to acquire land as a buffer. Read the story.
Sept. 10, 2013 - The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is intensifying the debate over the proposed Rosemont Mine’s impacts on neighboring streams by bluntly challenging the Forest Service view that the mine probably won’t do major, short-term environmental damage to Cienega Creek. Read the story.
Sept. 3, 2013 - Davidson Canyon and Cienega Creek — linchpin issues for many who oppose the Rosemont Mine — aren’t in as big a danger from mine impacts as many people think, the U.S. Forest Service says. Read the Tony Davis story.
August 21, 2013 - The Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit last week in an effort to overturn a state aquifer protection permit for the mine. Read the story.
July 28, 2013 - Coronado National Forest Supervisor Jim Upchurch says he doesn't know if he can get the decision made by Sept. 27, due to several unresolved Rosemont issues. Read the Tony Davis story.
July 16, 2013 - The U.S. Fish and Wlidlife Service, with a new draft biological opinion saying that the mine isn’t likely to jeopardize the existence of any of nine endangered species including the jaguar. Read more.
July 1, 2013 - In a preliminary version of the service’s final Rosemont environmental impact statement, the Coronado National Forest said it’s proposing to approve Rosemont Copper’s plan of operations for construction. Read the AZ Daily Star story.
June 3, 2013 - US Rep. Raul Grijalva (AZ) and others have introduced a bill to overhaul the country's 142-year-old hard-rock mining law and charge royalties for copper and other non-coal mining operations on public lands. Read more.
Hard Rock Ranchers?
June 3, 2013 - What is Augusta Resources up to buying ranches and property near the proposed Rosemont mine site? Read the Tucson Weekly story.
Getting Educated on Rosemont and Mining
June 1, 2013 - Ed Lord of Green Valley, Arizona poses big questions about mining, and urges all to become better educated. Read the Green Valley News opinion.
Supporting Water Re-charge for the Upper Santa Cruz
May 24, 2013 - Tucson attorney and hydrologist Chris Brooks discusses the importance of water re-charge for the Upper Santa Cruz River. Read his opinion piece.
Mine-impact Study "Inadequate"
Feb. 26, 2012 -The EPA gave the lowest possible rating to a draft environmental impact statement for the proposed Rosemont copper mine. It's one of about a dozen times the Environmental Protection Agency's San Francisco regional office has done so since 1989. Click here to read the Arizona Daily Star article.
Judge Sides Against Foes of Rosemont
Feb. 10, 2012 - A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by opponents of the Rosemont Mine that had accused the Forest Service of violating two federal laws in its handling of the mine issue. Click here to read the Arizona Daily Star story.
Rosemont Permit Hits EPA Roadblock
Jan. 20, 2012 - The EPA says it's not ready to recommend approval of a federal permit for the Rosemont Mine under the Clean Water Act, and that it has major concerns that could further delay the project. Click here to read the Arizona Daily Star article.
500 Attend Final Hearing on Rosemont
Jan. 16, 2012 - The last of seven public hearings on the proposed Rosemont mine's draft environmental report showed clear differences between supporters and opponents of the billion-dollar project. Click here to read the Arizona Daily Star story.
Stand Up and Say No
April, 2012 - It is not often that the Institute publicly opposes a proposed resource development project. But, some projects are just so ill-conceived and contrary to sensible thinking, that we have no choice but to stand up and say, "No." The proposed Rosemont Copper mine near Sonoita, Arizona, is one of these projects.
Not All Sites Proposed for Mines are Inappropriate
Click here to read the entire opinion piece.