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Rock Climbers Worry About Losing Oak Flat To Resolution Mine

The Resolution Copper Mine is currently undergoing a federal environmental review. In addition to the concerns about the project expressed by some Native American tribes and environmentalists is the loss of rock climbing areas.

Curt Shannon is a policy analyst for the Access Fund, the non-profit works to protect threatened rock climbing areas, including Oak Flat near the proposed mine. He said the mine's completion would be detrimental.

“It would be the largest loss of a climbing resource in the United States," Shannon said.
 
Officials with Resolution Copper say climbing in the area will not go away. Vicky Peacey is the senior manager of permitting and approvals for the Resolution Copper Project. She said Resolution has identified additional bouldering sites and some climbing routes won't be impacted by the mining.

She said the environmental review will allow climbers and other concerned parties to weigh in.

“Everybody gets a chance to have their voice heard," Peacey said.

Read more about this issue in the June edition of Arizona Highways Magazine.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.