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*URGENT* Queen Creek - Oak Flat Call to Action
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pheenixx


Dec 12, 2009, 1:06 PM
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*URGENT* Queen Creek - Oak Flat Call to Action
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Senator John McCain's sent a letter last week to Congress:
http://www.savequeencreek.com/...nLetter-Dec-2009.pdf

In response to that letter a *deal* has been cut between McCain and Energy & Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico. Bill language was only shared to a few select groups after a promise was extracted not to share the language widely. Climbers are such a *small and insignificant* group of stakeholders in this area so I don't see this thread as a violation of such a promise... Wink

A discussion has been going on over at MountainProject for several months concerning the details of *private* negotiations for the climbing community that has excluded the community at large: http://www.mountainproject.com/...nd_swap/106456250__1

Some have concluded that a mutual party in both the AMC & the Queen Creek Coalition has diluted the original goals of both the QCC and the Access Fund. That discussion will not be entertained on this thread. This post is meant to encourage all climbers & recreationalists who want to continue to preserve the area to do so by asking questions and writing to their Congressional Representatives.

Below is an excerpt from the Call To Action and a link to inquire further. I urge EVERYONE to call and/or fax letters of concern. I may post up a sample form-letter (if there is interest) or further follow-up details. Sincere thanks in advance for your time & interest in saving Queen Creek climbing. Happy holidays everyone~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Stop Oak Flat Land Exchange in Senate

Your action is needed now to stop a compromise on the Oak Flat land exchange bill (S. 409) that is schedule to be marked up in the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee on December 16th along with 35 other bills.

This remarkable display of speed was brought about by a deal cut between Senator John McCain of Arizona who has been championing Rio Tinto’s special interest legislation to help him get re-elected to the Senate next year, and Energy & Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico.

Although Senator Bingaman promised Tribal leaders in a meeting following the Bill’s hearing in June that he would consult with them before any movement of the bill, this deal was struck without input from the Tribes.

Please call members of the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee and ask them to delay any markup or consideration of this amendment.

Tell them to delay consideration of the bill until:


*Senator Bingaman consults with Native American Tribes about the bill as he promised

*All parties have a chance to thoroughly vet the bill language

*The bill not be bundled into one hearing with so many other bills so that it cannot be adequately debated

Other than allowing access for mineral exploration into Oak Flat campground which is off-limits by Executive Order, there is little or nothing in the bill that isn’t the current status quo for administrative land exchanges. Why then, does this compromise merit immediate movement of this bill at great risk to the Committee’s credibility?

From what we know, this is what the new version of the bill would do:

*Immediately allow Rio Tinto to do exploration under the Oak Flat Campground withdrawn area. It would allow direction drill from outside the withdrawn area to anywhere drills could reach. It would allow one drilling pad within the withdrawn area

*This version retains the convoluted language that may (but probably would not) required Rio Tinto to pay for some of the mineral removed from the ground.

*The bill removes any deals formerly made with the climbing community from consideration

*The bill removes the mandate for a replacement campground for Oak Flat.

*The bill leaves tremendous wiggle room for the appraisal process to cheat the US taxpayer out of full payment for the tremendous natural and mineral resources we would lose.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For more details & Contact info. of the Congressional Representatives, please go to:

http://www.azminingreform.org/...land-exchange-senate


Partner gandolf


Dec 15, 2009, 11:36 AM
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Re: [pheenixx] *URGENT* Queen Creek - Oak Flat Call to Action [In reply to]
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Sounds like a deal is getting ready to be made. No mention of climbers in the article in today's Arizona Repupblic - http://www.azcentral.com/...15land-swap1215.html


pheenixx


Dec 15, 2009, 11:50 AM
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Re: [gandolf] *URGENT* Queen Creek - Oak Flat Call to Action [In reply to]
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WRITE AND/OR CALL your representatives TODAY..!!!

Climbers need to voice their opinion NOW..!!!

Chairman of Committee on Energy & Natural Resources
Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
703 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington D.C. 20510
Phone: 202-224-5521 Fax: 202-224-2852


Members of Senate Energy & Natural Resource Committee

Chairman of Subcommittee on Public Lands & Forests
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)
223 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: 202-224-5244 Fax: 202-228-2717

Chairman of Committee on Indian Affairs
Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-ND)
322 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: 202-225-2551 Fax: 202-224-1193

Sen. Tim Johnson; South Dakota
Phone: (202) 224-5842
Fax: 202-228-5765

Sen. Mary L. Landrieu; Louisiana
Phone: (202)224-5824
Fax:(202) 224-9735

Sen. Maria Cantwell; Washington
Phone: 202-224-3441
Fax: 202-228-0514

Sen. Robert Menendez; New Jersey
Phone: (202) 224-4744
Fax: (202) 228-2197 *corrected 12/15 -9pm*

Sen. Blanche Lincoln; Arkansas
Phone: (202) 224-4843
Fax: (202) 228-1371

Sen. Evan Bayh; Indiana
Phone: (202) 224-5623
Fax: (202) 228-1377

Chairman of Subcommittee on Water & Power
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
133 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: 202-224-4822
Fax: 202-228-0325 *fax# added 12/15 -9pm*

Chairman of Subcommittee on National Parks
Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO)
B40E Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington D.C. 20510
Phone: 202-224-5941 Fax: 202-224-6471

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen; New Hampshire
Phone: (202) 224-2841
Fax: 202-228-3194

Ranking Member of Committee on Energy & Natural Resources
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
709 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington D.C. 20510
Phone: 202-224-6665 Fax: 202-224-5301


(This post was edited by pheenixx on Dec 15, 2009, 8:12 PM)


lindajft


Dec 15, 2009, 6:39 PM
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Re: [pheenixx] *URGENT* Queen Creek - Oak Flat Call to Action [In reply to]
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wow, thanks, that list made it all so easy to send out letters!

Linda


curt


Dec 15, 2009, 8:23 PM
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Re: [pheenixx] *URGENT* Queen Creek - Oak Flat Call to Action [In reply to]
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Notwithstanding a few misguided opinions to the contrary, the Queen Creek Coalition and the Access Fund are indeed "on top" of actions concerning S.409 and H.R.2509. It has long been known that a mark up of S.409, in order to address issues raised during the most recent hearing, would occur.

Anyone interested in voicing a constructive opinion may want to send a message similar to the one below to both Senator Bingaman's and Congressman Grijalva's appropriate staff members.

For Senator Bingaman: scott_miller@energy.senate.gov

For Congressman Grijalva: glenn.miller@mail.house.gov

"...Rock climbers have historically comprised the largest recreational user group in the Oak Flat area of Arizona. The current language in Bills S.409 and H.R.2509 do not adequately address the huge loss of unique recreational resources that this user group will suffer if these Bills are passed in their current form. Before allowing passage of Bills S.409 or H.R.2509, please work with the Queen Creek Coalition and the Access Fund to address these very serious issues..."

Curt Shannon
for the QCC Board


curt


Dec 15, 2009, 8:54 PM
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Re: [pheenixx] *URGENT* Queen Creek - Oak Flat Call to Action [In reply to]
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As was discussed at the QCC Board meeting tonight, we believe it is important that everyone have some basic idea of the legislative process involved with the passage of the land exchange Bills in question--and with those Bills eventually becoming law.

Assuming that there is sufficient agreement between majority and minority staffs during Senate mark up, the Bill must still get out of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and be acted on by the entire Senate.

Even assuming that happens, H.R.2509 must still move forward in the House of Representatives for the land exchange to actually happen. In the House, H.R.2509 must pass through the National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee, Chaired by Congressman Raul Grijalva of Arizona, who is adamantly opposed to this legislation and to the "compromise" supposedly being worked out in the Senate.

Then any Bill, after passing both houses of Congress must then be reconciled in committee and finally, the President must sign the legislation into law.

The bottom line is that while now is an excellent time for everyone to let the appropriate Senators, Congressmen and Staff Members know that this Bill is bad for climbers (in its current form) now is not the time to panic or believe that this land exchange is, in any way, a done deal. If there are any questions about this or about what the QCC and Access Fund are doing with respect to this legislation, I encourage you to contact the QCC and/or AF.

Curt Shannon
for the QCC Board


dlintz


Dec 15, 2009, 9:14 PM
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Re: [curt] *URGENT* Queen Creek - Oak Flat Call to Action [In reply to]
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Curt,
Thanks for putting much of this into perspective. I hope this remarkable area can be saved.

d.


curt


Dec 15, 2009, 9:32 PM
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dlintz wrote:
Curt,
Thanks for putting much of this into perspective. I hope this remarkable area can be saved.

d.

Thanks Doug. You ought to come down again this winter and we'll go back out there.

Curt


dlintz


Dec 15, 2009, 11:06 PM
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Re: [curt] *URGENT* Queen Creek - Oak Flat Call to Action [In reply to]
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curt wrote:
dlintz wrote:
Curt,
Thanks for putting much of this into perspective. I hope this remarkable area can be saved.

d.

Thanks Doug. You ought to come down again this winter and we'll go back out there.

Curt

Believe me, I'm working on it. I hope we can do a more extensive tour of the less traveled areas.

Fight the good fight!

d.


ErikF


Dec 16, 2009, 12:53 PM
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Re: [dlintz] *URGENT* Queen Creek - Oak Flat Call to Action [In reply to]
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The Access Fund and the QCC have been working on two fronts to further the interests of the climbing community. One has been, and continues to be, working with local, regional and national governmental agencies to make sure that officials know our collective concerns. The other front has been, and will continue to be, holding talks with Resolution Copper where the focus has been on what are the elements that climbers would like to see, and trying to move Resolution toward agreeing to accomodate those needs.

Not everyone will appreciate these tactics, and some would second guess our efforts. We are continuing to try to maximize our goals, which ideally would be preservation of Oak Flat, but in the alternative would be securing the most net rock climbing and climber amenities in the area.

Today it appears, from my preliminary news sources, that the Senate Committee has reported the legislation out of committee and it now will be heard by the full Senate. We are trying to obtain detailed information about the results of the Committee Mark-up, i.e., what amendments are now part of the proposed legislation.

We have heard from Resolution that they were willing to agree to changes in the legislation, specifically: in the Pond language, which will now refer to multiuser recreation and not just to climbing (a point the USFS wanted to avoid elevating the risk profile of advertising an area as a climbing area), agreeing to having NEPA Environmental Impact Study conducted prior to the Land Exchange and the Mining Plan of Operations but that Resolution will be able to engage in directional drilling under the Exchange Parcel(we need to review the details to see exactly what those changes might mean), and moving the Replacement Campground from the jurisdiction of the USFS to the Town of Superior and/or other suitable local governmental oversight. Resolution indicated that they would pay for the full cost of construction and maintenance of the Replacement Campground through an "endowment." Again, details will need to be reviewed. It should be noted that these items were major stumbling blocks to passage of the legislation. We do not know the exact outcome, although it appears that the changes were sufficient to be acceptable by both minority and majority staff members of the Senate Committee.

As Curt mentioned above, the passage of the legislation out of the Senate Committee does not mean that all is lost. The full Senate must vote on it. And then a parallel process must be undertaken in the House, where Grijalva so far appears to remain opposed. We need to see the exact language, but this could mean that the actual transfer of ownership of the land might not take effect until after completion of the EIS and deterimination of public interest by the Secretary of Agriculture.

We need to stay strong. We need to stay flexible and aware. And, in my opinion, we need to be supportive of each other.


(This post was edited by ErikF on Dec 16, 2009, 12:58 PM)


dief


Dec 26, 2009, 5:31 PM
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Re: [ErikF] *URGENT* Queen Creek - Oak Flat Call to Action [In reply to]
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I am pragmatic. For example: some folks make a big deal that RCC is a “foreign owed” corporation. Would it make a difference if they were locally owned? I think not. Therefore it is not an argument to be made in this issue. With regards to the Executive Order and Oak Flat Campground that has been much discussed. It does not matter that it is “unfair” or “unethical” that the legislation will overturn this order. The fact is that Congress can do it. On the national level there is no angst about overturning the order so it is a waste of time to spend any effort on it.
The truth is RCC is the major landowner in the area of Oak Flat. We have to work with them. That is a basic fact. Climbers have access to Atlantis and the Pond because a license agreement with RCC was negotiated (with much help from the Access Fund). We had to pay $2000 a year for insurance for the first couple of years but we eventually convinced RCC to drop this requirement.
We live in a world governed by economics. Like it or not that is just the way it is. I learned to climb at the Carefree Boulder Pile in 1975. It was privately owned and we lost access to it when the Boulders Resort was developed. Pinnacle Peak was a mix of state trust land and private land. We lost access to the private land (Lower East Wall) but retained access to most of the climbing on the state trust land when it was sold to a developer. An agreement was reached so the developer would transfer 180 acres to Scottsdale of the 640 acres purchased from the state. Even with this agreement the park was 6 years late in being turned over to Scottsdale. As part of the deal climbers gave up access to Cactus Flower West. We retained access to the main peak, Y-crack boulder and Cactus Flower East. It would have been nice to get the entire 640 acres preserved but the economics didn’t work out. As a pragmatist I would prefer to get something rather than squat. I also understand that no matter what deal is made climbers will have to be vigilant and stay on top of this issue. Our kids and their kids will be working on access issues in this area for decades. That is just the way it is.
The point I am making is that unless climbers can afford to purchase climbing areas outright deals have to be made. The copper below Oak Flat is a huge economic tsunami. If we ignore this basic fact we will get screwed. As I see it the passage of the bill by the senate is like the water at the beach receding away from the beach farther than it has even done. We can jump up and down on the beach all we want and complain about the unfairness of having our beach from home (Oak Flat) destroyed but that will do nothing to stop the huge incoming wave (the eventual approval of the trade by Congress). We cannot stop this trade! Period. There is just too much economic gain to be had. The only choice we have is a) fight the mine and lose or b) make the best deal we can to save as much climbing as we can. As you might guess I prefer the “save as much as we can” option. I learned to climb in 1975. Climbing is my life. I will continue to work to save as much as possible. And that is just the way it is.


ErikF


Dec 31, 2009, 5:23 AM
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Re: [dief] *URGENT* Queen Creek - Oak Flat Call to Action [In reply to]
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Thanks again for all the good info and opinions.

I have talked to lots of climbers about the Land Exchange since it originally came to our attention in 2004. Across the spectrum of climbers I've reached out to, I'd say two fundamental differentiators in terms of where they stand now is with regard to a fundamental assessment: (1) of the likelihood of the Mine and the Land Exchange going through and (2) of the timing of that event.

From what I have seen and heard, IMO the majority of the individuals who look at the available information and feel that somehow somewhere the Mine and Land Exchange are inevitable reach a conclusion to get the best deal for climbers even if doing so "stinks".

The further differentiator is between folks who feel the press of the clock and those that feel that time is on the side of climbers. Those who feel the press of the clock want to deal now. Those who feel that time is on our side want to hold off until it is clearer to them that the Mine and Land Exchange are actually happening before they have to make a deal.

I think that those two distinguishing assessments explain a large part of any difference of opinions within the climbing community at this time.

Have a Safe and Happy New Year!


anthonymason


Jan 3, 2010, 10:05 PM
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Re: [dief] *URGENT* Queen Creek - Oak Flat Call to Action [In reply to]
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Dief, great point, and I agree.
I am not sure if I have ever thanked you for you're committed work on Pinnacle Peak and for level head in maters such as this.
Thank you.
Sincerely,
Anthony Mason


sonso45


Jan 20, 2010, 1:00 PM
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The QCC board had a meeting with RCM representatives on January 12th. Several topics were brought up concerning the potential size of the subsidence, Apache Leap management, Lower Devil's Canyon approach roads, etc.

You can read the information discussed at the QCC website:
http://www.queencreekcoalition.com/...inutes_Jan12_10.html


Partner gandolf


Jan 21, 2010, 2:35 PM
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Re: [sonso45] *URGENT* Queen Creek - Oak Flat Call to Action [In reply to]
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Manny - Thanks for posting the link to the latest QCC meetng notes. It sounds like some good dialog between the 2 parties was made. Let's hope some positive results come from the meeting.


(This post was edited by gandolf on Jan 21, 2010, 2:37 PM)


ErikF


Feb 18, 2010, 1:50 PM
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There is another thread dealing with this topic - I think it's labeled "Oak Flat Closure" or something like that. Oak Flat is still open and the negotiations continue. At the risk of duplication, but in case some folks are following this thread and not the other, here is what the QCC presented to RCM on Feb 8.

QCC Response to RCM Offer
February 2010

The QCC board is hereby responding to the full list of items contained within the RCM Offer of October 10, 2008.

(Note: The writing convention adopted herein is for the existing RCM Offer language to appear in black italicized text with the QCC evaluation, concerns and proposed solutions following in regular but blue text.)

Preface:

The QCC would like to see a timeline of RCM’s major steps in the development of the Mine starting from the passage of the legislation to formal commencement of ore extraction under full operational status. A Gantt chart with critical path items based on those major steps would be an optimal means of communicating that time line.

Issues to be addressed by congressional legislation

Item (1) of the CCR states that: "As part of RCM's land exchange with the United states, RCM will transfer to the United states three parcels of RCM land, totaling approximately 365 acres, known as i) the "Pond"; ii) "Dripping Springs"; and iii) "Apache Leap South End." These three parcels will be transferred to the United States regardless of the values of any other lands or cash equalization involved in the exchange."

QCC's current concerns here lie not with RCM, but rather with the USFS and potentially ADOT. The USFS does not want to take the Pond parcel under the terms of the current exchange language, which specifies that the parcel must be actively managed as a climbing area.

Action: QCC will ask RCM and, in parallel, congress to restate the language in the bill so that the USFS would take the parcel and merely allow recreational use of the land. If USFS still believes that taking the Pond parcel is not in the public interest, QCC will approach both RCM and congress with the idea of transferring the Pond to another party--instead of the USFS.

Also, the USFS recently informed the AF that ADOT may have issues with climbers parking at the existing Pond parking lot and then crossing the highway to the north to access the climbing area. I don't believe there are any specific actions here, as we do not know the validity or nature of the ADOT objections. QCC can certainly provide solutions however, including signage indicating that the correct approach to the Pond is via the path going under the bridge at the base of the Pond--instead of crossing on top of the highway.

Finally with respect to the Pond, highway 60 may eventually be re-routed outside of Queen Creek canyon, essentially "land-locking" the Pond inside RCM private property.
Action: QCC will ask RCM to guarantee access to the Pond even in the eventuality that existing highway 60 reverts to RCM ownership.

Dripping Springs Action: QCC will ask that this parcel be conveyed to the BLM with access.

Apache Leap Action: QCC will ask RCM and congress that the QCC be added to the groups that are named in the legislation tasked with developing the future management plan for Apache Leap.

Action: The Local Climbing Affairs subgroup of the QCC will explore the possibility of expanding both the 95 acre size of the Pond Parcel and also the acreage of the Atlantis parcel, that falls under the long-term license agreement with RCM.

Action: The QCC will continue to push for at least a "primitive" campground above the Pond area.

Item (2) of the CCR states that: "RCM will pay the sum of $1,250,000 to the USFS in the land exchange, and will ask congress to add language to the legislation specifying that the USFS shall use these funds for the construction or improvement of access roads, turnouts, trails, camping, parking areas and other facilities to promote and enhance rock climbing and bouldering opportunities in the areas near Superior, Arizona known as the "Pond," "Upper Pond," "Inconceivables," and "Chill Hill" areas."

Action: The QCC will ask RCM and congress for similar language changes as in Item (1) above, removing the specific requirement that the USFS "promote and enhance" rock climbing on the parcels in question.

Action: QCC will explain to both RCM and congress that the improvements to the parcels in this section are imperative and that it should not be "our" problem if the USFS will not agree to use the designated funds for the stated purposes. Further, we will ask that these specific improvements be provided, whether $1,250,000 is sufficient for this purpose or not.

Action: QCC will clarify that these improvements be provided to "passenger car" standards.

Item (3) of the CCR deals with surrender and withdrawal of mineral rights for the Pond and Apache Leap South End parcels.

Action: Rick Cecala has agreed to provide a legal opinion of the language contained in the current draft legislation.

Item (4) of the CCR states that: RCM will ask congress to specify that the USFS allow reasonable climber access to Apache Leap from the west as part of the Apache Leap study process already in the legislation.

Action: QCC will continue to ask RCM and congress that this language be included in the legislation.


Issues to be resolved by amended climbing license and/or other means.

Item 1) Access to the Pond, Upper Pond and Devil's Canyon. This section basically says that RCM will work with ADOT and QCC to identify and construct safe turnouts and access to these climbing parcels from highway 60. Further, the section says that this work will be done by RCM at its own expense and in addition to the $1.25M previously mentioned for other purposes.

Action 1 - Separate Pond issues from Devil's Canyon issues.

Action 2 - Question RCM regarding how the Pond "improvements" can be constructed without USFS approval/support of the construction.

2. Atlantis climbing parcel: This 74 acre parcel is existing RCM private land, and is under existing license to the Access Fund. RCM believes this area may be needed for tunnels or other mining facilities in the future, but that any such uses are unlikely to interfere with climbing activities for any significant period of time. Therefore, RCM will extend the existing license for the Atlantis parcel until 2060. If the Atlantis parcel is no longer needed for mining activities at the expiration of the license, RCM will consider a transfer of the land to the U.S. Forest Service or other governmental entity at that time. Otherwise, the license may be renewed on similar terms, for 10-year periods.

Action 1: The QCC would like to work with RCM to evaluate the currently proposed 74 acre parcel with an eye on expanding it to cover all the climbing that is currently on RCM lands (exclusive of the Pond parcel) in the general area of Atlantis proper, including climbing crags north of Highway 60 that may not be included in an expanded Pond parcel.

Action 2: As stated in item 10 below, the QCC has concerns with the current License Agreement. Jason Keith of the Access Fund will be taking the lead on this item.

Action 3: As stated in item 11 below, the QCC would like to receive an addendum to the MSHA letter of December 9, 2008. The addendum to that letter should also cover the roads, trail heads, trails, climbing crags and associated easements that will be on future RCM lands after the Land Exchange is finalized.

3. Central Oak Flat: This 234 acre parcel, and access thereto, will be under license to the Access Fund once RCM acquires it in the land exchange. RCM will extend the existing Access Fund license for this parcel until 2019, with an option for renewal.

Action 1. The QCC would like to work with RCM to evaluate the currently proposed 234 acre parcel with an eye on expanding it to cover all the climbing that is currently on RCM lands or will be owned by RCM after the Land Exchange is finalized. The QCC will work with RCM to identify continued climbing areas adjacent to the parcel based on their proposed Mining Plan of Operations

Action 2. As stated in item 11 below, the QCC would like to receive an addendum to the MSHA letter of December 9, 2008. The addendum to that letter should also cover the roads, trail heads, trails, climbing crags and associated easements that will be on future RCM lands after the Land Exchange is finalized.

Action 3: As stated in item 10 below, the QCC has concerns with the current License Agreement. Jason Keith of the Access Fund will be taking the lead on this item. In any case, the time period in this item should be changed from the time certain of “2019” to a “10 years from the passage of the legislation.”

4. “Eurodog Valley”: The area is on land that is either already owned by RCM, or land that will be acquired by RCM in the land exchange. RCM will grant a license allowing access to and use of this area for rock climbing and bouldering until 2019, with option to renew. Reasonable access and parking on RCM land will be provided by RCM. RCM presently expects that a new Shaft 9 access road (to replace the Magma Mine Road) will be constructed, and will be licensed for climber access to Eurodog Valley once completed. RCM also agrees to be able to license Lower Eurodog (i.e. the portion below any new Shaft 9 road) for climbing on a long term basis, similar to the Atlantis license, if upon completion of RCM's feasibility studies for Lower Eurodog, it does not appear to be needed for mining activity.

Action 1: Change the sentence, “Reasonable access and parking on RCM land will be provided by RCM. RCM presently expects that a new Shaft 9 access road (to replace the Magma Mine Road) will be constructed, and will be licensed for climber access to Eurodog Valley once completed, to, “Reasonable access and parking on RCM land will be provided by RCM when RCM builds the new Shaft 9 access road (to replace the Magma Mine Road). RCM will also provide under the license for climber access to Eurodog Valley once the new road is completed.”

Action 2. As stated in item 11 below, the QCC would like to receive an addendum to the MSHA letter of December 9, 2008. The addendum to that letter should also cover the roads, trail heads, trails, climbing crags and associated easements that will be on future RCM lands after the Land Exchange is finalized.

Action 3: As stated in item 10 below, the QCC has concerns with the current License Agreement. Jason Keith of the Access Fund will be taking the lead on this item. In any case, the time period in this item should be changed from the time certain of “2019” to a “10 years from the passage of the legislation.”

5. The "Mine Area": Portions of the rock climbing area known as the "Mine Area," including but not limited to Upper Looner Land, Lower Looner Land, Magma Gardens, The Arena, Simpsons Hall, and the Grodens, are located on land that either currently belongs to RCM, or that will be acquired by RCM in the land exchange. RCM will grant a license allowing access and use of this area for rock climbing and bouldering until 2019, with option to renew.

Action 1: The QCC wants to clarify and represent on a map what the proposed road and parking access would be to the “Mine Area”, including the existing road to Lower Devils Canyon which exits off of the current Mine Road.

Action 2. As stated in item 11 below, the QCC would like to receive an addendum to the MSHA letter of December 9, 2008. The addendum to that letter should also cover the roads, trail heads, trails, climbing crags and associated easements that will be on future RCM lands after the Land Exchange is finalized.

Action 3: As stated in item 10 below, the QCC has concerns with the current License Agreement. Jason Keith of the Access Fund will be taking the lead on this item. In any case, the time period in this item should be changed from the time certain of “2019” to a “10 years from the passage of the legislation.”

6. Apache Leap and access from the East: RCM will grant a license allowing climbers reasonable access to Apache Leap from the east (top side) across RCM property. Further, those portions of Apache Leap, if any, which are property of RCM following the land exchange, or which thereafter become property of RCM through any means, will be subject to a license allowing access and use of such area(s) for rock climbing and bouldering until 2019, with option to renew.

Action 1: Change the text of item 6 to read: “Apache Leap access from the East: RCM will grant a license allowing climbers reasonable access to Apache Leap from the east (top side) across RCM property.” (with additional language on duration and character of license below).

Action 2: Include the climbing areas north and south of the three electric poles on the edge of the Leap within the Licensed Area.

Action 3: Clarify where the road access, parking and trailhead will occur on a map.

Action 4. As stated in item 11 below, the QCC would like to receive an addendum to the MSHA letter of December 9, 2008. The addendum to that letter should also cover the roads, trail heads, trails, climbing crags and associated easements that will be on future RCM lands after the Land Exchange is finalized.

Action 5: As stated in item 10 below, the QCC has concerns with the current License Agreement. Jason Keith of the Access Fund will be taking the lead on this item. In any case, the time period in this item should be changed from the time certain of “2019” to a “10 years from the passage of the legislation.”

7. Apache Leap Westside Access: RCM will grant an access easement across its property in the Cross Creek drainage on the west side of Apache Leap to allow climber access to Apache Leap from the west. Use of the easement will be contingent on the Forest Service approving access on its land to the east and west of the RCC easement area – a matter which will be examined in the Apache Leap study process already in the legislation.

Action 1: (1-12-10) The QCC expressed its concerns that while RCM was promising to give access and easements across its land under a license, in point of fact a related issue was an easement across the USFS parcels and the related construction and long term maintenance costs involved in coming up the hill to the Leap. Therefore, the QCC was not sure how much value there was in an agreement that had that amount of uncertainty.

What is needed is for the parties (e.g., RCM and USFS) who own lands and interests along the potential access roads, trails and parking to identify the optimal alignment for road, parking, trailhead and trail easements and to agree on a solution which includes granting of easement rights to a suitable entity, construction of the related infrastructure, and provision for long term operating and maintenance costs.

Action 2: The QCC would like RCM to place the historic climbing into any relevant documents concerning Apache Leap during the NEPA process.

8. Upper Devils Canyon: RCM will grant a public access easement on the existing “power line road” to the existing trailhead and trail (near the 500KV power line) which access upper Devil’s Canyon. The easement may be extinguished and replaced by another easement of similar character, conferring equivalent access, without cost to the easement grantee and at RCM's sole expense, if relocation of the existing access road becomes necessary to accommodate future mining activities.

Action 1: (1-12-10). The QCC expressed concerns that ADOT might not allow a turn-out near the curve where old highway 60 left the new alignment. Instead, it might be necessary to come off the current Mine Road after it leaves Highway 60 and then head east to Upper Devils through the Exchange Parcel.

Action 2: The QCC would like to clarify on maps that the easement offered will extend to the Beach, Bingham Land, and the Boy Scout Trail.

9. Lower Devils Canyon: RCM will license use of the Magma Mine and “drill roads” until 2019, or until new access to Lower Devils Canyon becomes available via an improved Rawhide Road on east side of Devil’s Canyon and/or via an improved road from Highway 177 into Oak Creek. RCM will make reasonable efforts to assist and encourage the Forest Service to keep any such improved roads open for recreational use.

Action 1: (1-12-10) The QCC stated that it wanted to be sure that proper access to Lower Devils Canyon was secured. It also had concerns about access across the State Trust Land to the rock crags.

David stated that there will be at least two access routes to Lower Devils Canyon due to the monitoring wells that Resolution must install. An east side approach (down the current Rawhide Road) will place a monitoring well at the north edge of the State Trust Land. The QCC stated that if such were to occur, it would want the road taken down the approximate 1 mile to the edge of the canyon itself. David said that he would approach the State Land Department to investigate extending recreational roads on State Trust lands past the Monitoring well.

David stated that the other access to Lower Devils would be from the south. The existing four-wheel dirt road that comes up from Highway 177 would be improved to allow Resolution to access a monitoring well on the western side of Lower Devils Canyon.

The QCC stated that it would want all of the roads being discussed as Monitoring Well roads, and other access roads, to be drivable by 2-wheel drive vehicles. David said that that should be easy enough, unless USFS standards for grades made it impossible without the addition of switchbacks. If the road was steep and drivable to access their wells, the USFS might not want them to cut additional road footage in the form of switchbacks. He will investigate this further.

Action 2: It is imperative that RCM and the rock climbing community have a means of communicating when the access roads deteriorate due to man-caused or natural occurrences and that RCM institute a rapid response to address and correct the deterioration.

10. License terms: Each license agreement described herein shall be in a form and contain provisions acceptable to QCC and Access Fund, and, except as otherwise specifically provided in this Letter of Intent, neither QCC nor the Access Fund shall have any obligation or duty hereunder prior to their approval and acceptance of such license agreements. The privileges granted under any license shall not be unreasonably suspended by RCC, but may be temporarily or permanently suspended if necessary to: 1) accommodate RCC’s mining operation needs in a specific area or areas; 2) to protect public health and safety; and/or 3) if licensee or its members utilize a licensed area in a manner so as to significantly damage the climbing resource or environment, or engage in consistent and repeated behavior that violates the terms and conditions of the license and/or creates risks to the licensees or to public health and safety.

Action 1: (1-12-10) The QCC stated that it wanted a new or amended predetermination letter from MSHA stating that all of the climbing parcels, climbing paths, access roads, and trailhead facilities were not within lands MSHA would consider lands of “active mining operations.” This in effect would remove MSHA concerns from the climbing parcels.

David stated that they already had such a letter from MSHA. The QCC handed him the letter and stated that it was specific to the Town of Superior and a hiking path up Queen Creek Canyon from the Town. The QCC stated that they felt it did not necessarily cover the climbing areas, etc. They urged David to take another look at the letter and perhaps get an “addendum” addressing the specific climbing areas as not being under MSHA oversight.

11. MSHA: RCM will work with QCC and the Access Fund in an attempt to insure that MSHA regulation does not interfere with activities authorized under any climbing license or licenses granted by RCM.

Action 1: (1-12-10) Given that a number of the items above would be covered in a revised License Agreement (current signed License Agreement allows for continuing climbing for a 5-year period but is unilaterally revocable), the QCC and David discussed moving forward with taking another look at the License Agreement Language and beginning to make some changes. Jason Keith, Policy Director the Access Fund would be the primary party representing climbers in this process.

12. Tam O’Shanter: It is acknowledged that existing law permits the State of Arizona and/or local government to apply to BLM for an RPP Act conveyance of Tamo land in the future. Once RCM acquires the Oak Flat Federal land in the land exchange, and if and when the State and/or a qualified unit or units of local government make a written request to RCM, RCM will provide $1 million to assist the entity(s) making the request for Tamo lands. RCM will also work with climbers and others to consider providing additional funds to such entity to assist in the development of a Tamo climbing area upon the transfer of Tamo land to the State and/or unit(s) of local government.

Language remains as is:

13. The Drip, Steamboat Mountain, Land of Lost, and The Homestead: RCM has been advised of access issues with regard to these areas and agrees to consult with representatives of the climbing community and State or local governments, after RCM receives mine plan approval, regarding creation of a memorandum of understanding pursuant to which RCM would assist efforts to preserve or enhance climbing opportunities in these areas.

Action 1: The QCC would like to work with RCM and the State Land Department concerning access easements to the Homestead through the State Trust Land parcel.

14. Boulder relocation: RCM and QCC agree to discuss relocation of a limited number of boulders and/or a limited amount of vegetation, off- site, from land currently owned by RCM or which will be owned by RCM following completion of the land exchange.

Language remains as is:

15. Route development fund: RCM will furnish $50,000 upon signing of this Letter of Intent to be used as a fund to purchase hardware for developing new rock climbing routes and/or the maintenance of established routes, subject to a memorandum of understanding acceptable to RCM governing the custody and disposition of the funds.

Language remains as is:

16. Queen Creek greenbelt: RCM agrees to facilitate meetings with QCC, Forest Service, Town of Superior, State and ADOT to discuss and develop a long-term memorandum of understanding pursuant to which a greenbelt in and near Queen Creek Canyon can be established and maintained.

Language remains as is:

17. “Co-existence” agreement: Each license referenced herein shall recite that RCM intends for climbing and mining to co-exist in Queen Creek Canyon and environs to the greatest extent possible consistent with reasonable safety and mining operation concerns, and this Letter of Intent and any agreements which it contemplates shall be interpreted so as to give effect to this intention.

Language remains as is:

18. Insurance: All future insurance premiums for insurance required by any license agreement referenced herein, if RCM elects not to self-insure, shall be paid by RCM.

Language remains as is:

19. Scope of Agreement: Except as otherwise specifically provided, the provisions of this Letter of Intent are conditioned on passage into law of S.3157 or a measure substantially similar to it, with the modifications described herein, prior to the end of the 111th Congress. If that does not occur, then the provisions of this Letter of Intent shall expire at the end of the 111thCongress, unless extended by the parties. Further, it is hereby agreed that upon signing of this Letter of Intent, QCC and the Access Fund will promptly sign a letter of support for the proposed legislation, with the modifications described herein, and send the letter to the Arizona Congressional delegation.

Action 1: The sentence, “Further, it is hereby agreed that upon signing of this Letter of Intent, QCC and the Access Fund will promptly sign a letter of support for the proposed legislation, with the modifications described herein, and send the letter to the Arizona Congressional delegation,” will be changed to read, “Further, it is hereby agreed that upon signing of this Letter of Intent, QCC and the Access Fund will promptly sign a letter of cooperation with regard to the proposed legislation, with the modifications described herein, and send the letter to the Arizona Congressional delegation.

III. Additional Issues to be resolved by amended climbing license and/or other means.

Northern Devils Climbing Area.

Action 1. RCM and the QCC will add an additional item to the Agreement. This item will cover RCM’s commitment to work with the QCC, ADOT and any other party with the goal being roadway, trail head and climbing crag access and any required easements thereto with regard to the area known as Northern Devils Canyon on Marty Karabin’s climbing maps.


ErikF


Mar 5, 2010, 6:00 AM
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Re: [ErikF] *URGENT* Queen Creek - Oak Flat Call to Action [In reply to]
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Hi folks,

We have updated the QCC web site (thanks, Greg) with two documents - RCM's first response to our January meeting with them, and the full list of our responses to their last offer in October 2008. Thanks to everyone who gave input previously to the "matrix of concerns."

We hope to have a meeting of the climbing community soon to give an update and hear back from you. We'll announce in various ways where and when.

Also, for those who are interested, here is a recent outline of QCC activities.
Erik

January 12, 2010 – QCC met with RCM to present list of items related to Concerns and Possible Solutions with the Oct 2008 RCM Offer Proposal.

January 19, 2010 – QCC met to work on the rest of the Concerns and Possible Solutions with the Oct 2008 RCM Offer Proposal.

January 30, 2010 – Members of QCC met with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack in Superior, Arizona.

February 2, 2010 – QCC met to finalize the Concerns and Possible Solutions with the Oct 2008 RCM Offer Proposal.

February 8, 2010 – QCC delivered to a Response to RCM of the Concerns and Possible Solutions with the Oct 2008 RCM Offer Proposal. The full text of the QCC Response is included below.

February 8, 2010 – RCM sent QCC a letter of initial responses to QCC’s concerns (arrived Wednesday the 10th). The issues covered involved the Pond parcel and MSHA.

February – second week – Representatives of the QCC and the AF held meetings in Washington DC with key congressional staff members

February 16, 2010 – QCC met to discuss items and information gained since previous meeting. It will continue on the dual tracks of continued negotiations with RCM to address concerns and possible solutions as well as pursuing its legislative track with congressional contacts.


ErikF


Apr 6, 2010, 5:21 AM
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Re: [ErikF] *URGENT* Queen Creek - Oak Flat Call to Action [In reply to]
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Queen Creek Coalition has received a full response today from Resolution Copper regarding our letter of February 8th of this year.
To see the response in full, click here:
http://www.queencreekcoalition.com/media/RCM_Response_to_QCC>>>>>

If you want to see the letter that the QCC sent on Feb. 8th, that is here:
http://www.queencreekcoalition.com/media/qcc_response_rcm_Fe>>>>>

READ UP ON THIS STUFF!!! REMINDER: TOMORROW IS THE PUBLIC MEETING WHERE YOU CAN BRING UP QUESTIONS AND COMMENT TO THE QCC IN PERSON REGARDING THIS INFORMATION!!!

April 6th, PRG, 6:30pm


Partner gandolf


Apr 6, 2010, 8:17 AM
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Re: [ErikF] *URGENT* Queen Creek - Oak Flat Call to Action [In reply to]
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fixed the links-
Resolution Copper Response http://www.queencreekcoalition.com/...e_to_QCC_05APR10.pdf

Initial QCC Letter sent on Feb 8th http://www.queencreekcoalition.com/...e_rcm_Feb8_2010.html


ErikF


Apr 11, 2010, 4:51 PM
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Re: [gandolf] *URGENT* Queen Creek - Oak Flat Call to Action [In reply to]
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Thanks for the correction, Gandolf.

For a summary of the 1st quarter public meeting of the QCC during which the RCM response was discussed, see the forum thread posted by Dief called Queen Creek Coalition Meeting elsewhere here on RC.com.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...orum_view_collapsed;


pheenixx


Jun 8, 2010, 8:48 PM
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Re: [ErikF] *URGENT* Queen Creek - Oak Flat Call to Action [In reply to]
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ErikF wrote:
And, in my opinion, we need to be supportive of each other.

yeah right --how ironic...

now that you have hijacked the QCC with Paul & your own personal opinions...and ignored and/or went against the Access Fund's advice

this is inexcusable. You should fire yourself from this position as you have turned 180 against saving the climbing at Queen Creek

access chair wtf..?!?!?


(This post was edited by pheenixx on Jun 9, 2010, 9:00 AM)


pheenixx


Dec 20, 2010, 6:54 PM
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Re: [ErikF] *URGENT* Queen Creek - Oak Flat Call to Action [In reply to]
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ErikF wrote:
Thanks for the correction, Gandolf.

For a summary of the 1st quarter public meeting of the QCC during which the RCM response was discussed, see the forum thread posted by Dief called Queen Creek Coalition Meeting elsewhere here on RC.com.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...orum_view_collapsed;

DO NOT POST on this thread again

MOST NET CLIMBING IS B.S.

"NET" means LESS CLIMBING

It seems perhaps that some climbers have SOLD OUT or been hushed by $$$ interests (once again) Even the Access Fund has been silenced..?!?!?!?

If you care about saving your climbing areas of OAK FLAT & QUEEN CREEK -CALL YOUR SENATORS NOW (or email) and tell them to not allow Senator Reid to hide Bill S.409 -One VOTE could keep this thing from going through

This must be done TODAY..!!!

many thanks & happy holidays ~phx


pheenixx


Dec 23, 2010, 12:50 PM
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Re: [pheenixx] *URGENT* Queen Creek - Oak Flat Call to Action [In reply to]
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pheenixx wrote:
If you care about saving your climbing areas of OAK FLAT & QUEEN CREEK -CALL YOUR SENATORS NOW (or email) and tell them to not allow Senator Reid to hide Bill S.409 -One VOTE could keep this thing from going through

CALL, Email or Fax your Senators TODAY..!!

Don't wait for the Access Fund or anyone else to save your climbing areas -- apparently we're on our own now


pheenixx


Dec 24, 2010, 8:15 AM
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Re: [pheenixx] *URGENT* Queen Creek - Oak Flat Call to Action [In reply to]
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Good News..!!!!

Apparently Oak Flat has been SAVED this time and will not be headed to the chopping block of the Resolution Copper Mining Company

Thanks to everyone who wrote letters and tried to save this wonderful climbing area

Happy-Happy Holidays..!!!


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