Judge denies Oak Flat land swap injunction

Oak Flat - Russ McSpadden Photo/Center for Biological Diversity

SAN CARLOS — A U.S. District Court Judge Friday denied a requested injunction that would have stopped the land transfer for Resolution Copper.

The injunction was sought by Apache Strongold. Apache Stronghold claims the land transfer violates an 1852 treaty with the Apache as well as well as the First Amendment right to worship, claiming Oak Flat is sacred ground.

Judge Steven Logan ruled against the request, stating that Apache Stronghold is not a sovereign nation and does not have standing.

Oak Flat is part of more than 2,400 acres of land in the Tonto National Forest that Congress approved to swap for 5,400 acres of land offered by Rio Tinto, the developers of the proposed Resolution Copper mine.