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Gosar introduces controversial land swap bill

By Daniel Kraker

Flagstaff, AZ – The bill would transfer about 3 thousand acres of National Forest land between the towns of Superior and Globe to Resolution Copper. In exchange the mining company would give several parcels of sensitive, riparian land to the federal government, including land in Yavapai County along Tangle Creek, and in Coconino County near East Clear Creek. Underneath the land Resolution wants to acquire is one of the largest untapped copper deposits in the world. Congressman Gosar calls the land swap proposal a win-win.

"In which a resource that is key to this area benefits everybody," Gosar says, "not only Arizona, the American people, it creates jobs across this country, and that's a bipartisan focus."

Gosar estimates the mine would create one thousand direct jobs, plus thousands more service jobs. But the bill is opposed by the San Carlos Apache Tribe, which doesn't want to see mining on land it holds sacred.

The land exchange has been proposed several times in recent years. Similar bills have been introduced by former Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, and by her predecessor, Republican Rick Renzi. Renzi's political career ended after he was indicted for trying to get land owned by one of his supporters included in the exchange.