SAVE OAK FLAT ACT (SOFA) - Current & Historical Record

SOFA UPDATES
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September 2021 - Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-AZ, introduced the H.R. 1884 Save Oak Flat Act (SOFA) to permanently protect the Oak Flat area of Tonto National Forest from destructing mining proposals in March 2021. It is now included in the House’s $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill. H.R. 1884 will repeal Section 3003 land exchange of the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, introduced an identical bill (S 915) in the Senate. The Save Oak Flat Act (SOFA) would protect a 2,422-acre site known as Chí’chil Biłdagoteel (Oak Flat), the foundation of traditional Western Apache culture and religion. Congress now has a historic opportunity to protect American Indian cultural and religious resources by enacting the Save Oak Flat Act, which is currently included in the House version of the budget reconciliation legislation in Subtitle B—Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands 3 SEC. 70201. OAK FLAT WITHDRAWAL starts on page 10. 

April 28, 2021 - House Natural Resources Committee Democrats, Full Committee Markup | Full Committee Markup on Wednesday, April 28, to push legislation, including H.R. 1884 Save Oak Flat Act, to #BuildBackBetter​. Watch live 11:00 a.m. (EDT) or recorded version  https://youtu.be/U1aE4sdnueA 
See Also:  Committee Repository for documents submitted for the record.

April 15, 2021Press Release, Chair Grijalva Introduces “Save Oak Flat Act” to Permanently Protect Tribal Sacred Site in Central Arizona From Destructive Mining  
April 13, 2021 - House Natural Resources Committee, The Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States (SCIP) hosted a virtual, fully remote legislative hearing on the following tribal-related legislation: H.R. 1884 (Rep. Raúl Grijalva), To repeal section 3003 of the Carl Levin and Howard P. "Buck" McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, and for other purposes. More information and written testimonies:   https://naturalresources.house.gov/hearings/legislative-hearing-on-save-oak-flat-act  Watch hearing  https://youtu.be/07lQnARcxZU?t=295  

THE SAVE OAK FLAT ACT 2021-2022
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Please urge your congressional leaders to cosponsor and support the Save Oak Flat Act.
Passage of the Save Oak Flat Act, HR 1884, is critical to stop this project that promises big profits to multinational mining companies, while imposing irreversible harm to the people and environment of Arizona.
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HISTORICAL RECORD OF THE SAVE OAK FLAT ACT 2015 - 2021
to "Reverse Backroom Deal that Threatens Apache Religion and Sacred Areas"
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THE FIRST "SAVE OAK FLAT ACT" | On Wednesday, June 17, 2015, Arizona Congressman. Raul Grijalva with 14 bipartisan co-sponsors introduced the first “Save Oak Flat Act”. The bill would repeal Section 3003 of the FY15 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which approved   
Section 3003 Southeast Arizona Land exchange & Conservation Act to became public law during the 113th Congress (2013-2014) 
H.R.3979 — 113th Congress (2013-2014) Carl Levin and Howard P. "Buck" McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015
12/19/2014 | Became Public Law No: 113-291 
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San Carlos Apache Tribal Chairman, Terry Rambler, praised the bill’s introduction. Rambler stated, “I applaud Congressman Grijalva and the co-sponsors of the Save Oak Flat Act. They are true champions of Indian Country and justice for the American taxpayer. The Save Oak Flat Act directly responds to the deception that was used to approve the Land Exchange through an eleventh hour rider. That process directly ignored the will of the people and exemplifies everything wrong with Congress.”   View original article   One of the lawmakers involved in the fight to save Oak Flat, Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), introduced the first “Save Oak Flat Act” in June 2015 to protect the sacred grounds from mining. 
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Grijalva’s original 2015 bill reads:  “As a result of previous Federal land policies that resulted in the significant loss of lands of American Indian tribes, many sacred areas of tribes are now located on Federal lands. The United States has a trust responsibility acknowledged by Congress to protect tribal sacred areas on Federal lands. [The deal] sets dangerous legislative precedent for the lack of protection of tribal sacred areas located on Federal lands … [and] will require significant amounts of water that will likely affect the local hydrology, including the underlying aquifer, and will result in polluted water that will seep into drinking water supplies.”  Since 2015, the Save Oak Flat Act has died in committee.

2015-2016 H.R.2811 | S.2242 (Save Oak Flat Act) 


2017-2018 H.R. 2915 | S. 1375 (Save Oak Flat Act)


2019-2020 H.R. 665 | S.173 (Save Oak Flat Act)

PRESS RELEASE: SAVE OAK FLAT ACT 1/17/2019 | SAVE OAK FLAT ACT - Introduced in 116th Congress 1/17/2019

March 12, 2020, Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States
The Irreparable Environmental and Cultural Impacts of the Proposed Resolution Copper Mining Operation
Watch Subcommittee Hearing on YouTube | Witness and Support Documents Submitted

2021-2022 117TH Congress | H.R.1884 | S.915 - To repeal section 3003 of the Carl Levin and Howard P. "Buck" McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, and for other purposes.
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April 13, 2021, Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States
Watch Subcommittee Hearing on YouTube | Support Documents Submitted 
 

The Save Oak Flat Act (SOFA) would protect a 2,422-acre site known as Chí’chil Biłdagoteel (Oak Flat), the foundation of traditional Western Apache culture and religion. Congress now has a historic opportunity to protect American Indian cultural and religious resources by enacting the Save Oak Flat Act, which is currently included in the House version of the budget reconciliation legislation in Subtitle B—Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands 3 SEC. 70201. OAK FLAT WITHDRAWALSubtitle B—Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands 3 SEC. 70201. OAK FLAT WITHDRAWAL starts on page 10.