Our family lives in Apache Junction, Arizona, in the Sonoran Desert about 30 miles from Oak flat – a hiking, camping, and picnic area in the Tonto National Forest as well as sacred land to several Native American tribes. The land has recently been traded to a mining company in a rider to a defense authorization bill in Congress and a form of mining called block cave will be used once and an environmental impact statement is approved. I am hoping that the large oak trees can be saved that are in the picnic area as well as the scrub oaks that I have in the family photographs accompanying this blog. We once saw a Jaguar there when we were hiking. We also have seen Native Americans gathering acorns and many families having picnics and barbecues and birthday parties in the picnic and campground areas. During and after rain there is a stream flowing through the land. There has been quite a bit of off roadies so there is some degradation of the land, but once hikers get out away from Route 60 east of Superior, Arizona, there are many birds to see. An old mining operation and a test site for the new mine are visible to the west near Apache Leap. The mining company says that the Apache Leap escarpment will be preserved. We are hoping that this quiet area can be left alone as was promised by President Eisenhower to the native Americans. There are many flowers, cactus, and desert trees as well as lizards and other desert plants and animals. Rock climbing has been a favorite sport in the Oak flat area. We are watching for the opportunity to comment as part of the environmental impact statement.
Hoping for preservation of trees at Oak flats April 15, 2015