Better still, I recommend that you give them a quick call. A half-dozen bills are scheduled for June 17, so the committee could just pass it through without paying any attention to the details. However, if all the committee members get some 60 phone calls from Arizona concerned citizens, they just might think twice. Also, Congress persons receive some 5,000 e-mails a week!!!
Second, put your comments in the public record: Sample Letter
Senate Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests
Sample letter for Senators and other contacts:
Dear Senator or Rep, etc __________:
I am writing you because you are a member of the Public Lands and Forest sub-committee, which will be hearing Bill S.409 on Wednesday, June 17. As a resident of Arizona, I am concerned that the U.S. Government is giving away beautiful, scenic, recreational land that also has a historical significance for the local Native Americans. Further, this site is in the Tonto National Forest, which has only 1% of riparian area to give water to the wildlife. In fact, a Riparian Area Program has been created to protect, enhance and restore riparian areas there.
The progenitors of this Bill have contacted or met any of the local Nations. Neither have they visited any of the sites that are being considered in the exchange—for none of them are significant. They are useless, over-grazed ranches that were sold to the mining company at fire sale prices (one of them actually was burned out). Not a one of them has ever been set aside by Presidential Order, as was Oak Flat in 1955, by President Eisenhower (PLO-1229).
I am requesting that the two Arizona Senators who introduced the bill disclose how much of the $210,813 (McCain-2008) and $82,823 (Kyl-2006) in political contributions they received from mining companies were from Resolution Copper, BHP and Rio Tinto, or any of their subsidiaries.
The records show that Rio Tinto and BHP (with their subsidiaries) are two of the worst polluters on the planet. Kennecott in Utah has one Superfund site and another that was just moved from the potential Superfund list.
Here in Arizona, we value the places we have for recreation and for wildlife. Oak Flat is a special place for bird watchers; the campground billboard warns that it is bear territory. Nearby Devil’s Canyon is also a unique treasure for rock climbers and birders. The mining operations will have to pump water out a region a mile in diameter. This pumping is sure to rob the trees and vegetation in the whole region of the water to sustain themselves.
While most of you have no idea of the impacts of mining—high water usage, waste piles 100’s of feet high, sulfuric acid leach facilities, blowing dust, and the converting of a scenic highway into a haul road for huge trucks to carry ore to the smelter—we hope you will help us who do know the ramifications very well and leave Oak Flat and Devil’s Canyon.
The Speaker of the House contact:
First and foremost, contact the culprits who introduced the bill:
John McCain = $210,813 from mining in 2008 campaign
Jon Kyl = $82,823 from mining in 2006 campaign
Most important, contact the members of the sub-committee who will be hearing the bill:
Contact Info for Public Lands and Forests sub-committee:
Note: some of the e-mails are accepted only from the state of the Senator. Simply choose their state and enter a zip code for that state. I’ve entered a zip to use with the state. That’s why it’s important to tell them you are contacting them because they are on the Parks and Public lands sub-committee that is considering a bill that will affect Arizona—whether you are writing a letter or making a phone call.
Democratic Subcommittee Members:
Ron Wyden (Chairman); Oregon
Tim Johnson; South Dakota
Mary L. Landrieu; Louisiana— 71101
Maria Cantwell; Washington
Robert Menendez; New Jersey—07102
Mark Udall; Colorado—81501
Jeanne Shaheen; NH
Republican Subcommittee Members
Jeff Sessions; Alabama—35203
John McCain; Arizona—85614
Bob Bennett; Utah— 84138
Bob Corker; Tennessee—38301
James E. Risch
Jeff Bingaman; NM (ex officio member)
Lisa Murkowski; Alaska—99501 (ex officio member)
Next most important, contact all Arizona legislators:
(You will have to change the letter to read, “I am writing you because you are supporting the Resolution Copper land exchange bill HR 2509," excluding Rep. Grijalva. You can tell him you are writing to others to express your opposition to the bill—and thank him for the good work he is doing sensible mining in Arizona.”)
Next, contact USDA/Forest Service personnel:
National Forest Service Chief:
Natural Resources Conservation Service of Forest Service
Director Public Affairs Division
Tonto National Forest Personnel:
Karyn B. Harbour
USDA Contacts—communications, media, etc.
Jennifer Martin, (202) 720-8188