by Heather Hoch
The Southeast Arizona land exchange was one of the bills that was attached to the National Defense Authorization Act and passed by the U.S. House and the Senate. It is a bill pushed by Arizona Representatives Gosar & Kirkpatrick and Arizona Senators McCain and Flake (and prior to Flake, Kyle) which for over the past 10 years has not been able to get enough votes for passage in either the House or the Senate. The Arizona Congressmen could not get the bill to pass using the normal Congressional procedures. This is because the bill gives land at Apache Leap and Oak flat in southeastern Arizona to a foreign Mining Company, Resolution Copper without any environmental impact studies or without consultation with San Carlos Apache and Tribes that consider the area sacred. The last time the bill came up for vote in the House of Representatives it was shut down by New Mexico Representative Lujan who proposed an amendment to the bill that required that Native American concerns regarding Sacred Sites be addressed.Members of the Apache Stronghold are headed to D.C. July 20-21 to stand in opposition to the land deal but, first, they're asking community members to head to the Global Justice Center, 225 E. 26th St., on June 30 at 7 p.m. to show their support. The event is free, but donations for the trip are encouraged. Donations can also be made through the Apache Stronghold website, where you'll also find more information on the cause.