Oak Flat Land Swap Decision Withdrawn


Sandy Bahr, sandy.bahr@sierraclub.org 

PHOENIX, AZ --  The Biden administration has withdrawn a Final Environmental Impact Statement and decision that would facilitate the transfer of ownership of Oak Flat, a sacred land to at least a dozen Indigenous Tribes, to a mining company with ties to the destruction of an Aboriginal site in Australia. The move follows years of opposition from Apache-Stronghold, the San Carlos Apache Tribe, the Inter Tribal Association of Arizona, and other Tribal entities, religious leaders, locals, and environmental groups. 

Oak Flat is a holy ground where the Apache have prayed and performed ceremonies for centuries. The site is also home to numerous Apache burial grounds, sacred sites, petroglyphs and medicinal plants.

In response Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter Director Sandy Bahr issued the following statement. 

“We’re pleased to see the Biden administration rescind these rushed and ill-advised actions in order to address Tribal and public concerns about the harmful impacts of this land swap and the damaging mining that will follow. We encourage the Forest Service not to just listen, but to act on input of Native leaders and to do everything possible to stop the destruction of Oak Flat and protect these lands.” 



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The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.