Editorial: Land swap bill protects Apache sites
"The prospects for Arizona's next big copper mine are looking shinier than they have in a long time, thanks to a bill introduced by Sen. Jon Kyl.

The Resolution Copper Co. project would create hundreds of jobs, revive the languishing area around Superior, bolster the state economy and meet 20 percent of America's copper needs.

The mine will proceed only if Congress approves a federal land exchange. The process had been moving right along. Until the alleged financial shenanigans of Rep. Rick Renzi, the Republican who represents northern Arizona, brought it to a screeching halt. According to a federal indictment, Renzi tried to cut a special deal for himself in the transaction. Resolution Copper, to its credit, refused to go along.

This was a good plan for Arizona before Renzi's indictment.

Now it's even better.

A sticking point in the land trade has been the opposition of the San Carlos Apache Tribe. Resolution Copper has taken steps to address the objections raised by the tribe, including the protection of Apache Leap and access to acorn-gathering areas. With the Forest Service now in discussion with tribal officials, it should be possible to identify and clear any remaining hurdles."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Shiny outlook (The Arizona Republic 7/7)

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