TAKE ACTION NOW!
Ways you can help Protect Sacred Oak Flat
NOTICE: Confusion About Donations
Over the past few days, we have received a flood of phone calls and messages, asking if donations are needed by Apache Stronghold. Apparently, some individuals or organizations in the Phoenix area are using social media to request donations of food, camping gear, electronics, gas cards, and other items for "the Community Protecting Oak Flat." However, we want to clarify that these requests have not been made by the Apache Stronghold. We are pleased that so many people want to help protect Oak Flat, but we also want to make clear that these requests for donations are not coming from Apache Stronghold. Ahi’yi’é (thank you)
Arizona's Chi'chil Bildagoteel, also known as Oak Flat, is in danger of being destroyed by mining. A last-minute deal by the Trump Administration mandated the transfer of Oak Flat to a foreign-owned mining conglomerate that will turn this land into a massive copper mine. To protect this sacred land, Rep. Raúl Grijalva introduced the Save Oak Flat From Foreign Mining Act to permanently shield this area from mining. Join in the fight to save Oak Flat by adding your name as a citizen co-sponsor of this important legislation today.
Oak Flat is a beautiful and biodiverse area in the Tonto National Forest. Its high desert lands are home to mountain lions, bobcats, coati, and many other wildlife species. The lands are also sacred for the San Carlos Apache and other Indigenous communities. HECHO is leading our campaign to protect and safeguard Oak Flat. HECHO stands for Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors which is part of the National Wildlife Federation family and was created to promote Hispanic leadership in conservation policy. Unfortunately, the wildlife, lands, and Indigenous sites of Oak Flat are threatened by a giant copper mine that would create a crater that is 1,000-feet deep and 1.8 miles wide. The mining would consume more than 250 billion gallons of water in an area that is already suffering from exceptional drought conditions. It would also create 1.4 billion tons of toxic mine tailings that would cover nearly 4,000 acres. Congress can stop this destructive mine from moving forward so that wildlife, watersheds, and significant Indigenous sites are safeguarded for generations to come.
March 6, 2023 - Ranking Democrat Raul Grijalva Introduces Save Oak Flat From Foreign Mining Act to Protect Sacred Site in Central Arizona
Washington, D.C. – House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today announced the introduction of the Save Oak Flat From Foreign Mining Act to permanently protect Tonto National Forest’s Chí’chil Biłdagoteel Historic District, also known as Oak Flat, from foreign mining operations that will permanently desecrate the area and destroy its tribal cultural and religious heritage sites.
H.R.1351 - 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. Please urge your congressional leaders to cosponsor and support the Save Oak Flat Act H.R. 1351. It 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.
- Full bill text of the Save Oak Flat From Foreign Mining Act is available here.
- A fact sheet on the bill is available here.
Contact your Members of Congress to Cosponsor the Save Oak Flat Act | Arizona Mining Reform Coalition, November 22, 2022
More Ways to Help Protect Oak Flat
Biłdagoteel (Oak Flat) is a sacred site in the Tonto National Forest for the San Carlos Apache and other Native American Tribes in the region—a place to pray, collect water and medicinal plants, gather acorns, honor the people who are buried there, and perform sacred religious ceremonies. Oak Flat is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a Traditional Cultural Property and protected from mining since 1955 by President Eisenhower. Resolution’s underground mine would cause Oak Flat to collapse into a mile-wide, 1,000-foot-deep crater. In 2014, the US government promised the land to foreign copper mining interests to build a copper mine. The Resolution Copper Project would create one of the largest copper mines in the US destroying this sacred site.
- |Poor People's Campaign Action Network: Calling Faith Leaders to Help Protect Oak Flat
- Sign Petition via Move On, Campaign created by Wendsler Nosie Sr.
RESISTBOT is a fast and easy way to write to Congress via text message.
1) Send text to 50409 type RESIST.
2) Follow the prompts.
3) Type your message
4) Resistbot will compose letter and send it to YOUR congressional leaders. If you wish to write a longer message, it's easiest to compose your message first, then copy/paste it into your text message.
What's at Stake?
Pray: Calling all people of faith, all religions to pray for Oak Flat
Please ground all actions in prayer. Pray in your own manner, organize others to pray with you. Find a prayer practice that fits you—take a walk, light a candle, sit quietly. Reach out to your religious and spiritual leaders and congregations to ask for prayers for Oak Flat. Set intention for the safety and wellbeing of Oak Flat, of all life and water of that Sacred site and of all who defend it, for the passing of the Save Oak Flat Act by Congress. Pray for Wendsler’s safety, the San Carlos Apache Nation, the fresh water that runs at Oak Flat, action in Congress, the trees, plants, and animals in danger.
Physical Presence and Prayer at Sacred Oak Flat
Go camping by yourself or with family at Oak Flat. Visit Oak Flat for a day to pray in your own manner. Please be mindful the Oak Flat campground is located within an Apache Sacred site. Please respect it as you would respect any place of worship. Display Protect Oak Flat yard sign by your tent or camper. Buy Protect Oak Flat Yard Sign
Make Oak Flat visible on social and other media
Post videos, repost news stories to your social media accounts
Promote Oak Flat with a Zoom virtual background - Add an Oak Flat Landscape to your Zoom background picture. See: Take Action Gallery for background pictures. A link to a Zoom Virtual Background tutorial is provided
Write a Letter to the Editor of local newspaper about how you feel about Oak Flat & why it's important to you.
Spread the word - Talk to friends, family, neighbors, groups and faith leaders.
Host a digital “house meeting” & watch one of the videos to discuss & take action.
Participate in Online Events & Webinars | See EVENTS for more info.
Learn more about Rio Tinto & BHP