Oak Flat Alert! Opportunity to Comment to ACHP on Effects to Historic Properties from Resolution Copper
On February 11, 2021, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) announced that it was terminating consultation on the development of a Section 106 agreement with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) in the Resolution Copper Project and Southeast Arizona Land Exchange in Tonto National Forest (TNF), Arizona. Pursuant to its responsibilities under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), the ACHP will prepare formal comments on the project and submit them to the Secretary of Agriculture. Once the Secretary considers and responds to the ACHP’s comments, the Section 106 review for this undertaking will be concluded. It is important that our views be informed by comments from consulting parties and the public regarding the undertaking and its effects on historic properties. We invite you to provide your views in accordance with the instructions below.
The proposed undertaking includes the USFS approving plans for mining operations submitted by Resolution Copper Mining and facilitating the exchange of lands between Resolution Copper and the United States as directed by the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The proposed plan of operations would govern surface disturbance on USFS lands from mining operations, including extraction, transportation, and processing of copper and molybdenum. The land exchange would transfer 2,422 acres of USFS lands, known as the Oak Flat parcel, from federal ownership, which would then be used for the mining project. The NDAA requires the land exchange to occur no later than 60 days from the USFS issuance of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). The USFS issued the FEIS on January 15, 2021.
While the consultation process led to a Section 106 agreement signed by other consulting parties, the ACHP declined to sign it, thus stopping its execution. The ACHP concluded that the measures outlined in the agreement were not sufficient to adequately resolve the adverse effects on historic properties and further consultation would not be productive.
In accordance with its regulations, the ACHP will develop its final advisory comments on this undertaking and proposed resolution of adverse effects on historic properties to the Secretary of Agriculture. As part of this process, the ACHP is seeking your views. It is important to note that the ACHP can only consider comments on the effects of this undertaking on historic properties. For further information, see the ACHP’s Press Release . Please submit your comments electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All comments submitted by 5 p.m. EST, March 2, 2021, will be part of the public record and reviewed by the ACHP prior to the finalization and transmittal of its formal comments to the Secretary of Agriculture. Given the ACHP’s office closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the short timeline for consideration, the ACHP strongly prefers comments via email and cannot commit to being able to access hard copies submitted through US Mail.
For more details on the ACHP’s actions regarding the Resolution Copper Project, visit https://www.achp.gov/news/background-resolution-copper-project-and-southeast-arizona-land-exchange-tonto-national-forest
The ACHP looks forward to receiving your comments.