Tonto National Forest Hosting Public Meeting to Discuss Apache Leap

Release Date: 
Thursday, October 6, 2016

PHOENIX, October 6, 2016 — For Immediate Release.
Forest officials will host a public meeting and workshop October 20, 2016, in Superior, Arizona, to discuss establishment of the Apache Leap Special Management Area as well as give attendees the opportunity to provide input into the development of the Forest’s management plan for the area.

The session will be held in the Superior High School multi-purpose room located at 100 Mary Drive in Superior, Arizona. It will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. A presentation by a Tonto National Forest representative will begin at 5:30 p.m., followed by an interactive public workshop.

The Tonto National Forest is preparing the management plan for the Apache Leap Special Management Area as directed by the Carl Levin and Howard P. "Buck" McKeon National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2015. The NDAA directs the exchange of the 110-acre Apache Leap parcel presently owned by Resolution Copper – the operating company and project proponent for a proposed underground copper mine near Superior -- to Tonto National Forest. This parcel will be added to an existing 697-acre area of Tonto National Forest to form the 807-acre Apache Leap Special Management Area, which encompasses the Apache Leap escarpment, east of Superior.

Forest officials emphasize that sharing information with and receiving input from the public on the development of the management plan for the Apache Leap Special Management Area will comprise the agenda. Forest officials will not address related Resolution Copper mining topics – such as the ongoing environmental impact statement or the August 2016 Baseline Environmental Assessment decision – during the meeting.

According to Mary Rasmussen, Apache Leap Special Management Area Project Manager, creation of an effective management plan will aid Tonto National Forest in protecting and conserving the area’s cultural and archaeological resources.

“The Forest Service will develop the plan in consultation with affected tribes and Resolution Copper as well as the Town of Superior and interested members of the public,” she said.

In addition to the workshop, Tonto National Forest has created an additional avenue for public input into the management plan development process. The public can submit inputs by mail to:

Apache Leap SMA
PO Box 34468
Phoenix, AZ 85067-4468

Further information concerning the development of the management plan can be found online at www.ApacheLeapSMA.us. Public input will be most useful if received by November 21, 2016.

Upon preparation of the management plan, Tonto National Forest will conduct an Environmental Assessment (EA) of the management plan in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. There will be opportunities for public comment on the proposed management plan during the EA process in early 2017.

For additional information regarding the project, contact Rasmussen at (602) 225- 5200 or email her at mcrasmussen@fs.fed.us.

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