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KNAU and Arizona News

Coconino County Supervisors Support San Francisco Peaks Mining Ban Renewal

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Ryan Heinsius
/
KNAU

The Coconino County Board of Supervisors has passed a resolution in support of extending a 20-year mining ban on the San Francisco Peaks. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Coconino County Chairwoman Liz Archuleta says the Peaks must continue to be protected for their cultural and spiritual importance to tribes including the Navajo and Hopi. In addition, she says the area is a popular recreation site and an iconic part of the local community.

Coconino National Forest officials recently applied with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to extend the 20-year mineral withdrawal of the San Francisco Peaks and Mount Elden. The current mining ban expires in October, and if extended would continue to protect nearly 75,000 acres. Several minerals could be of interest to mining companies there including pumice, gravel, sand and uranium. Forest officials also say mining would threaten the Peaks’ watershed, which is crucial for Flagstaff.

The U.S. Forest Service is accepting public comments and an online meeting about the withdrawal will be held Mon, Aug. 17 at 5 p.m. To attend, send an email to comments-southwestern-coconino-flagstaff@usda.gov with “Withdrawal” in the subject line to receive a meeting invite with an online link.

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