SUPERIOR, Ariz. — The U.S. Forest Service has approved a plan for managing an area outside Superior that’s adjacent to a proposed copper mine.
The Apache Leap Special Management Area includes a historic ridge where dozens of Apache warriors leapt to their deaths rather than surrender to U.S. forces during western expansion.
Under the plan, the Forest Service would work with tribes to protect the area and ensure tribes have access. Mining, livestock grazing and overnight camping would be prohibited, and seismic monitoring equipment installed.
A 2014 federal law designated the area, and advanced land swaps between the federal government and Resolution Copper Mining.
A separate environmental impact statement is ongoing for the underground mine and the land swaps.
If that’s approved, the Apache Leap area would be nearly 840 acres.