ARIZONA — The Southwestern Region is completing the review of objections received on the proposed Rosemont Copper Mine Final Environmental Impact Statement and will release Regional Forester Cal Joyner’s responses to objectors early next week. “There were a tremendous amount of issues raised and we needed extra time to extensively review each objection. I believe we have thoroughly reviewed and considered the issues raised,” Joyner stated.
Coronado National Forest Supervisor Jim Upchurch completed the Rosemont Copper Project FEIS in late December 2013 and issued a Draft Record of Decision. The objection filing period began January 1, 2014, and by the close of the filing period on February 14, 2014, 101 objections were received by the Southwestern Region of the Forest Service. Regional Forester Joyner is the reviewing officer for the objection process.
The Forest Service continues to work with other federal partners who have regulatory or administrative responsibilities regarding the proposed Rosemont Copper project. Forest Supervisor Upchurch recently requested the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reinitiate formal consultation on the project due to the documented presence of an ocelot within or near the project area and the potential listing of species that were not considered in the original biological opinion.
In July 2007, Rosemont Copper submitted a preliminary mine plan of operations (MPO) to the Coronado National Forest requesting approval to construct, operate, reclaim, and close an open pit mine on and adjacent to National Forest System lands for development of the Rosemont ore deposit. The National Environmental Policy Act analysis process was initiated in March of 2008, in response to the Mine Plan of Operations for an open-pit copper mine proposed for the Santa Rita Mountains southeast of Tucson, Arizona.
The responses to the objections will be posted at www.rosemonteis.us following issuance of the letters to the objectors.