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Fight over Arizona's Oak Flat mine draws support of diverse religious groups

The prospect of whether to turn sacred Apache land over to a mining company, whose plans for the site would “obliterate” the ability of tribal members to worship there, has turned an environmental fight over the mine into one over religious rights and drawn a diverse cast of supporters to the Apache cause. ... Read more»

Feds rescind OK for copper mine at Oak Flat, seek 'thorough review'

The government Monday rescinded its approval for a proposed massive copper mine at Oak Flat, just days before it was to transfer thousands of acres of federal land for the project. The Department of Agriculture said it ordered the rescission to allow for a “thorough review based on significant input from collaborators, partners and the public” after the Jan. 15 release of a final environmental impact statement on the project.... Read more»

Critics grill Haaland; backers point to historic nature of nomination

While Senate Republicans used the Interior confirmation hearing for Rep. Debra Haaland to air their grievances about the Biden administration’s energy policies, supporters at the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing focused mostly on the historic nature of the nomination. ... Read more»

Apache make emotional appeal to court to halt proposed copper mine

Members of the group Apache Stronghold told a federal district judge Wednesday that the federal government violated their due process rights by rushing through the final approval last month, just days before President Donald Trump left office. They also claim the mine would violate their constitutional right to worship.... Read more»

COVID plans put to test as firefighters crowd camps during peak forest fire season

Fighting forest fires is an inherently dangerous job that now carries the additional risk of COVID-19. Any outbreak that ripples through a firecamp could easily sideline crews and spread the virus across multiple fires ... Read more»

Officials ask Congress for funds to train firefighters, fight wildfires

Forestry and fire officials told a Senate subcommittee that federal, state and local firefighters need more funding, training and flexibility to effectively battle wildfires. It came as the cost to fight the Slide Fire, just contained in Coconino County, was estimated at $10.2 million.... Read more»