Letter to Superior Town Council

The Town Council of Superior, Arizona – the nearest town to Oak Flat, and the starting point for the last day of our walk – is deliberating over whether to support the Save Oak Flat Act currently in Congress.

In an article from Copperarea.com (read the article here: http://bit.ly/1MX6llG) dated Nov. 17, 2015, James Hodl wrote, “Whether the Superior Town Council should take sides in an effort to undo a land swap between Resolution Copper and the San Carlos Apache Tribe approved by Congress last December has been put off until the Council collects more information on the issue.”

Many people ask how they might help save Oak Flat. Here’s a chance to use your right to free speech to let the Town Council members know how you feel. For me, if the mine is not stopped, there is no way I’ll ever set foot in that part of Arizona again. Superior will not see another dime of my money in its restaurants, motels, the local arboretum, or museums.

I am sending the letter below to the members of the Council so they can understand that their decision matters to me, and if they work toward a sustainable future, they can count on my continued support of their businesses. You are welcome to copy and paste the same text; if you care about the future of Oak Flat, please take a moment to relay that message to those noted at the bottom of this page.

Superior is a nice little town steeped in history and surrounded by beauty. I hope the Town Council decides to keep it that way.  -Sally


To the Town Council of Superior:

I have been following the mine proposal from Resolution Copper and I understand the Council is discussing whether or not to support the Save Oak Flat Act. If the mine is built, I will no longer come to Superior or Pinal County, and I will advise my friends and family to do the same.

Though the backdrop of Apache Leap makes it a place of great natural beauty, I have no interest in visiting a place that has a tailings dump in the area. Everyone knows that tailings are never good for one’s health, and often leach carcinogens for decades or centuries to come.

I’ve been reading about the situation at Oak Flat, and about the environmental devastation and bad human rights history of Rio Tinto/BHP, and I fear for the people of Superior if this project continues.

I understand the need for jobs; the people of Superior are no different than me in this respect. But if you work toward building motels, restaurants, and coffee shops, those are businesses I would be excited about patronizing. If you develop the town in this way, I will make a point to visit Superior whenever I am in the area.

I respectfully request that you will decide to invest in a future that takes into consideration the long-term environmental impact of the area. I am hopeful that you will protect Superior and the area from big business that will do a great deal more harm than good in the long run, so that my children and grandchildren will be able to visit your lovely town.

Thank you for your careful deliberation.

Superior Town Council:

Mayor: Jayme Valenzuela

Vice Mayor: Olga Lopez

Council Members: John Tameron, Steve Estatico, Michael Alonzo,             Mila Besich Lira, Gilbert Aguilar

Superior Town Council Address:

PO Box 218

199 N. Lobb Ave.

Superior, AZ  85173

Phone: 520-689-5752



5 thoughts on “Letter to Superior Town Council

  1. My youngest daughter is a graduate student at ASU so that has brought me to AZ numerous times. I make it a point to visit Oak Flat campground each visit, and camp with friends. I have hiked the canyons, swam in the spring pools, been visited by animals like a Timber Rattler and a Vermillion Flycatcher. We were protected from the heat of the day by the broad reach of the Live Oaks giving up their shade to travelers and adventurers. I have sat around the campfires at night and been awestruck at the imensity of the sky and star light. What an extraordinary environment so close to your city! What a terrible loss of resource to light, air, noise, water and ground pollution. Already the test pads are an eyesore and create noise and disturb the fragile environment. Please save the sacred lands for future families of humans and animals to enjoy.


    • Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts, Betsy. If you can share your thoughts directly with the Town Council members, that would be terrific. They need to know we are also deeply invested in the outcome of their decision. -Sally


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