Yesterday morning, members of the San Carlos Apache Tribe led roughly 70 people on a 44-mile march in protest to Congress’ recent approval of a bill that transfers 2,400 acres of national forest land, which includes Oak Flat, to the mining company Resolution Copper for development of an underground mine. Individuals from as far as Texas joined in the march.
Oak Flat is considered an Apache sacred ceremonial and burial site, as well as an outdoor recreational area. The passage of the bill remains an issue of contention throughout the region. Supporters say the mine will bring jobs. In addition to the religious significance of the area, those in opposition are concerned about the mine’s impact on water and the environment.
The march began on the San Carlos Apache Reservation and is expected to end today. As of 10:30 this morning, the demonstrators were seen passing through the town of Miami along Highway 60.
Jenn Walker began writing for Globe Miami Times in 2012 and has been a contributor ever since. Her work has also appeared in Submerge Magazine, Sacramento Press, Sacramento News & Review and California Health Report. She currently teaches Honors English at High Desert Middle School and mentors Globe School District’s robotics team.