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USDA puts brakes on land transfer for Arizona copper mine

Posted at 1:50 PM, Mar 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-01 15:50:09-05

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The Biden administration has put the brakes on an exchange of federal land in eastern Arizona that would clear the way for a massive copper mine.

Congress mandated the national forest land east of Phoenix to be turned over to Resolution Copper no more than 60 days after the publication of an environmental review. The document was published in the final days of the Trump administration. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday it's pulling back the document to further consult with tribes that consider the land sacred.

The agency cited President Joe Biden's recent memo on strengthening relationships with tribal nations.