The U.S. Forest Service has issued its draft environmental review of a proposed underground copper mine in the mountains east of Phoenix, saying it favors the one of six alternatives that would keep the project's tailings in a more remote area off federal land.
The release Friday of the draft environmental impact report kicks off a 90-day review period that is to include five hearings seeking public comment. Local Native American tribes and conservation groups in the past have opposed the proposed Resolution Copper mine because of fears it could harm sacred sites and the environment.
The area is home to the endangered hedgehog cactus and the threatened yellow-billed cuckoo. The San Carlos Apache and other local tribes have said the area includes ceremonial and burial lands they revere.