SAVE OAK FLAT ACT -Current & Historical Record
The Save Oak Flat Act was introduced by Representative Raul Grijalva (AZ) and Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) in 2015, to repeal Section 3003 Southeast Arizona Land Exchange & Conservation Act. The Save Oak Flat Act has been reintroduced each year following the land exchange and will be reintroduced in the 117th Congress. Please urge your congressional leaders to cosponsor and support the Save Oak Flat Act.
Section 3003 Southeast Arizona Land exchange & Conservation Act became public law during the 113th Congress (2013-2014)
117th Congress (2021-2022) Save Oak Flat Act - Updates will be posted here when the Save Oak Flat Act is reintroduced.
HISTORY OF THE FIRST "SAVE OAK FLAT ACT"
“Save Oak Flat Act” will Reverse Backroom Deal that Threatens Apache Religion and Sacred Areas - June 17, 2015
On Wednesday, June 17, 2015, Rep. Raul Grijalva with 14 bipartisan co-sponsors introduced the “Save Oak Flat Act”. The bill would repeal Section 3003 of the FY15 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which approved the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange.
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. Since 2015, the Save Oak Flat Act has died in committee.
Grijalva’s 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.”