Empire Gulch and Cienega Creek are environmental success stories, though their futures are uncertain if the Rosemont Mine is built.
The gulch and creek are centerpieces of the 42,000-acre Las Cienegas National Conservation Area, a federally owned grasslands site that is both a working cattle ranch and home to eight endangered and threatened species. But the proposed Rosemont Mine could change all that — the Environmental Protection Agency, the Bureau of Land Management and Pima County have said the mine could dry up the creeks.
The U.S. Forest Service and mine owner Hudbay Minerals Inc., have said they don’t expect Cienega Creek to be seriously degraded for at least 1,000 years, if ever, although the Forest Service has said Empire Gulch could suffer serious impacts.
Alternative headlines: (1) Hudbay foresees no more than 1000 years left for planet earth, (2) Forest Service expects extinction of Homo Sapiens in 1000 years, (3) What, me worry?