Thursday, June 19, 2008

Skywatch Friday: Save The Scenic Santa Ritas

( Mt. Wrightson photo by Gus taken June 14, 2008 @6:30 a.m. MST)


How much can our fragile ecosystem take?

Where will the Gila monsters go?

Will vultures rise on dusty thermals?

Will raptors hunt the fleeing mammals?

Will songbirds lose their voice in clouds of mining dust?

Will Mt. Fagan shudder with the blasting mines?

and when the Monsoon comes

will poison rain fall on the desert and run

down the washes to your house and mine?

From a previous post called The Name of My Mountain.

This photo is of Mt. Wrightson in the Santa Rita Mountains as seen from Sycamore Canyon. Just beyond the ridge is the world renowned scenic area Madera Canyon with world class birding as well as hiking and camping. Augusta Resource Corporation has a plan underway to create an open pit copper mine in the Coronado National Forest which is to the east of Madera Canyon and just north of the Greaterville Road. The proposed Rosemont Mine is also west of Las Cienegas National Conservation Area and Davidson Canyon, which drains into Cienega creek, one of the few year round creeks in Arizona. Home to a variety of birds and wildlife, some rare, it has been designated a “Unique Waterway of Arizona”. Highway 83, which is the main route to the mine, is a designated scenic route, the first in the state. All of these precious and sensitive areas will be impacted by the Opening of the Rosemont Mine. The public comment period has been extended until July 14, 2008. It is not too late to submit comments to the National Forest service. It’s never too late to write to your congressman.

To find out how you can help stop the Rosemont Mine or for more information click on the following links:

To view more Skywatch Friday photos visit Wigger's World.

To read about our Saturday hike in Sycamore Canyon click Here.

To see my other Skywatch post visit Kathie's Poet Tree

To see Gus' Skywatch Friday post visit Gusto!


kjpweb said...

Quite a bit of sky over this majestic landscape! Beautiful! Cheers, Klaus

VaQueenBee said...

Very beautiful shot! Gorgeous!

Louis la Vache said...

Beautiful image of the mountain(s)!

"Louis" thanks you for visiting his dance between the moon and the fog at midnight.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Beautiful photo. Hope it's not the last of this beautiful area. Your text was both informative and chilling!


SandyCarlson said...

These money grubbers make me sick. Thanks for highlighting this.

Pappy said...

Where ever you go there you are. Thanks for your caring post.

Small City Scenes said...

Beautiful photo.
We will save the Santa Ritas. MB

Anne-Berit said...

Great photo,and words!

Sandpiper (Lin) said...

Beautiful scene, Kathie. I remember your post about Rosemont. A worthwhile post and thanks for the links.

Tom said...

Thank you for being a part of Sky Watch this week, your post and comments are much appreciated.
Tom ;O)

I will be back here when I've done all my Sky Watch visits and read up more by following the links.. I called for my Friday fix of poetry which I was pleased to see but the subject was upsetting...

Doug Taron said...

The photos are lovely, but the message oh so depressing. FWIW, I've sent letters. This is a part of the world that I care deeply about. I'll be out your way in about 5 weeks, and your photos whet my appetite for seeing all of the parts of southeast AZ that I love so much.

Mental P Mama said...

Amazing shots!

Stacey Olson said...

LOL.. great questions.. I like the dusty thermals one myself.. wonderful post.. great teamwork..!

Kathryn and Ari said...

That proposal is just awful. Isn't there already a big copper mining project there? I thought I remember looking out from a hill at research station and seeing what looked like a mountain missing its top. When are we going to get smart about our impact on these fragile places?

Daniel J Santos said...

beautiful image and a excellent post.

April said...

Thank you for reminding us that we all have to pull together if we want to keep our wild places. Mining has become a "big thing" here in B.C. as well. The government is sanctioning dumping mine tailings into some remote lakes. How utterly disgusting! I wish you all the best in your efforts to save this beautiful area.

Tommy said...

nice picture

bobbie said...

This is so sad. I did submit a comment to the Forest Service a while back. This kind of thing is happening in way too many places.
Maybe - MAYBE - in 213 more days, the atmosphere will change. I guess it depends on whom we vote for.

Your picture is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful post with lots of information.

Kathie Brown said...

Everyone, thank you so much for visiting and your kind comments. For me, the mine will be right behind that mountain and Mt. Fagan. I fear I will hear blasting all day and night with dust swirling up and over into our beauitful canyon. But it is my fear for all the natural areas that surround the proposed mine that scares me the most. If the mine poisons Madera Canyon, Davisdson Canyon and Ceienga Creek, there will be no restoring it. There will be no birds to see any more. They will all be gone.

Kathryn, yes, there are mines already down in Green Valley and what you (and I) thought was the top of a mountian scraped off is really the tailings piled up in terraces! Green Valley is polluted alreay with the tailings dust and undground water that's been polluted. This open pit mine will use water to process the mining and all of that water will run downhill towards Las Cienegas NCA, Davison Canyon and Cienega Creek.

April said...

Hello Kathie, I felt I had to write again re: your question about the mine in your area. I did not see that name in the article I read about the tailings. I think there are several mining companies involved. This story broke last Monday, I believe, and there have been 750 comments to it. I read quite a few, and most people are adamantly opposed to what the government is doing. This is the link for the article:
Best regards,

Kathie Brown said...

April isn't it interesting that we are fighting the mining companies no matter where we live. No wonder no one trusts them. They take their money and run leaving devastation in their wake! I'll check out that link. Thanks!

esnorway said...

nice pic have good weekend

Anonymous said...

Hi Kathie,

Thank you for your comment and visit to my SWF post. You have a magical way with words that nailed my photo right on the money!

I see from your SWF post that you like to comment about your photos as well. Thanks for educating me about the plans for the Santa Ritas.

That's a nice image you have of Mt. Wrightson. I'm always amazed how haze is often incorporated as a visual aid for perspective to show distance.

BTW, you've got some beautiful captures of the Nighthawk, even if your husband did it!


Anonymous said...


I went back to admire your nighthawk photos and discovered that I didn't read your post thoroughly enough. Sorry.

GREAT captures of that beautiful bird.


Lea said...

I spent 5 years up in N AZ (Tuba City) and 5 more one exit S of Sedona. It would break my heart to hear of mining and blasting those precious mountains!

Thank you for bringing people's attention to the greed of the mining companies who care nothing for the environs or their inhabitants.