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Copper industry, environmentalists battle over US monuments

Copper industry, environmentalists battle over US monuments
Posted at 6:45 PM, Aug 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-27 21:45:09-04

Arizona's copper industry, environmentalists and recreation groups are fighting over the future of three national monuments in the state.

As the U.S. Interior Department reviews the size of 21 national monuments across the country, the multinational mining company Asarco is asking that more than 11,000 acres be pulled from the 129,000-acre Ironwood Forest National Monument northwest of Tucson so it can mine more copper there, next to the company's Silver Bell copper mine, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

The state mining industry also is trying to shrink two other Arizona national monuments that were named by President Bill Clinton: the Sonoran Desert National Monument lying north of Ironwood in Pinal County and the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Coconino County.

U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, a Tucson Democrat, said the Trump administration will be sued if it decides to shrink Ironwood and other monuments.