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This morning on the way to work, I experienced one of those spectacular sights you sometimes see, that make you want to pull to the side of the road and write a poem, or something. Take a picture. My cell phone doesn’t have a phone so I scribbled a few lines, nearly illegible. It doesn’t capture the view. The skies were grey overhead, cloudy, almost as if you would think it might rain, but this is Tucson. But off in the distance to the south where the Santa Rita mountains sit there were no clouds and the mountains were brightest thing you could see, sitting calmly with luminous white clouds around.

I would like first to call your attention to an essay in the Tucson Weekly, a local alt-newspaper It was written by Renee Downing, who I don’t know, though I read her on a weekly basis:

Honestly, what will it take to put a stake through this thing's heart? An open pit mine, about 30 miles southeast of Tucson, with no rail access, developed by a Canadian company with no track record, that wants to take, for free, 6,400 acres of scenic desert and use it as a tailings dump, with significant environmental impacts on at least another 100,000 surrounding acres. With, in the Forest Service's own words, effects on a fragile, overtaxed aquifer "expected to take many years, even centuries, to be fully realized." (The toxic pit lake will develop right away, though.) Oh, yeah, and 24-hour light, noise and air pollution, plus the right to pump all the water it needs. "Irretrievable and irreversible commitment of bio resources"—once again, this is the spineless Forest Service talking—with the upside being a few hundred dirty, dangerous jobs with a lifespan of 20 years.
You can read the rest of the article here:

  [http://www.tucsonweekly.com/...]

This is also a great site for information on the mine:

  [http://www.scenicsantaritas.org/...]

And now my scribbled lines, which are not better than a picture, but I have one of the few remaining cellphones that doesn’t have a camera:

If you could have seen the Santa Ritas this morning!
  Bright lit like some mythic mountain
  Priceless tranquility beyond our somber skies.

  Who are we to protect the mountains?

  I climbed the Santa Ritas once, on a troubled day
  From cactus floor to pines
  Lost two toenails on the descent
  But found a good answer

  Who are we to desecrate the mountains?
  Who are we?

Thanks,

tucanaz

Originally posted to tucanaz on Thu Feb 09, 2012 at 07:06 AM PST.

Also republished by Baja Arizona Kossacks.

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