Hudbay Minerals has long desired to begin digging at a planned gigantic open-pit mine called Rosemont in order to excavate significant amounts of copper from the Santa Rita Sky Island. To do so, Hudbay will need to destroy many burial grounds, ancestral homes + holy sites of the ancient Hohokam, Tohono O'odham, Hopi and Pasqua Yaqui peoples. The byproducts of the mine will pollute the myriad small streams + creeks that arc through the mountain range, providing essential water in the middle of the desert for humans and animals alike while also providing 20% of the groundwater to the nearby city of Tucson. Earthjustice has provided legal assistance to the Tohono O'odham tribe to prevent this mine from eradicating more than 10,000 years of archeological history.
This series was commissioned for Earthjustice Quarterly.