Ripsey Tailings Pit project draft EIS released- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Ripsey Tailings Pit project draft EIS released

    In case any of you are interested in reading or commenting on the proposed actions for turning Ripsey Wash into a giant tailings pile for the Asarco Ray mine, here is the link to the draft EIS report: Los Angeles District > Missions > Regulatory > Projects/Programs > Ray Mine Tailings Storage Facility

    This will affect ~6 miles of the AZ Trail and the mining company has agreed to pay for the reroute. Scott Morris, the ATA, and others have scoured the reroute already. From the report, it appears that the descent on the AZT from Martinez Canyon saddle (cholla forest) down to the Gila will have full view of this behemoth project unfortunately. So much for the gorgeous views on that section of the AZT.

    You can submit comments up to March 21st to the Army Corps of Engineers.
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  2. #2
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    Wow, that is massive. But I'm not entirely sure riders on the AZ trail will be able to see the tailings pile until nearing the railroad bridge. The descent from Martinez down to the Gila is 12 miles directly west.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    Wow, that is massive. But I'm not entirely sure riders on the AZ trail will be able to see the tailings pile until nearing the railroad bridge. The descent from Martinez down to the Gila is 12 miles directly west.
    I think you're right. I misread the view impact analysis and thought it was that section of trail. Nonetheless, the views are still going to be impacted sadly. Check out appendix E for visual simulations from points along the Gila section of the AZT. Appendix G is also a great analysis of the AZT reroute and even has a visual impact map.
    Shit happens...

  4. #4
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    I lifted this pic from Chad's thread. http://forums.mtbr.com/arizona/ripse...na-682773.html

    I can't tell if the ridgeline section is the part getting re-aligned but either way it looks like this is the basin that will become the new home to a gazillion tons of mining waste. Nice view of the Ray mine in the background as well.

    [ATTACH=CONFIG]1049879[/ATTACH
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ripsey Tailings Pit project draft EIS released-ripsey.jpg  


  5. #5
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    As a geologist...a sadly shake my head. Can't live without copper....but damn. I'm aware of my NIMBY feelings....but damn. Glad I've spent my share of days and nights in this area....not sure I can protect it for future generations, but I will voice my concerns nonetheless.

  6. #6
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    Ripsey Tailings Pit project draft EIS released

    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    I can't tell if the ridgeline section is the part getting re-aligned but either way it looks like this is the basin that will become the new home to a gazillion tons of mining waste. Nice view of the Ray mine in the background as well.
    The part that's being realigned is just after the the big ridgeline section. The section through Ripsey Wash and the Big Hill appear to still be there. You ride the ridgeline section to the north and then east and when it turns back north again to start the descent, I think that's where it's peeling off there towards the northeast. So the famous Ripsey parts will still remain. You will lose a water source in that section though (that old bathtub spring) so that might suck for hikers but the Kelvin cache isn't too much farther away.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maadjurguer View Post
    As a geologist...a sadly shake my head. Can't live without copper....but damn. I'm aware of my NIMBY feelings....but damn. Glad I've spent my share of days and nights in this area....not sure I can protect it for future generations, but I will voice my concerns nonetheless.
    I know what you mean. I'm torn about this and the Oak Flat project but the potential amount of ore in that project is MASSIVE and we all need copper. It's a tough pill to swallow but it has to come from somewhere. The Oak Flat project is even more disappointing though because the subsidence will render the land unsafe so a large area will be lost as opposed to this project which will shut down a much smaller area and it would just be a visual eyesore.
    Shit happens...

  7. #7
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    Oak flat to me is a step too far....just my opinion....it was protected for a reason....the swap was unfortunate

    As for the realignment....it looks rad! Lots of more squiggles on the map, and frankly I believe it to be an improvement.....as weird as that may sound. As riders....I think we can all get behind more squiggles on the map!

    But for the love of the area, the reason for which this thread was intended, I will leave this link....

    http://maadjurguer.blogspot.com/2012/04/this-is-what-happens-when-i-get-loaded.html?m=0

    To me it feels like an eternity ago and yet I can state with no melodrama, there is a part of me that I feel will always be there.

    This piece of desert is one of the largest piece of open space on the AZ map when you look at it....and when you're contemplating crossing it, it renders more apprehension than any other stretch on the AZT in my opinion. It is a comitting place and in the commitment there is reward....it's a beauty and silence, a feeling of awe and a sense that you've been swallowed up by the earth.

    Most people will see it as the perfect place to dump several megatons of slag and pilings....but for me I see undulating ridge lines of saguaro and scrub, echoing back the emotions my soul has yet dared to acknowledge. It is a place where doubts when lived with, become ephanies. Where natures tragedy turns to beauty and the harshness of reality becomes the gateway to balance and reason.

    Perhaps I place too much spirit into this place....I certainly tested its boundaries....but if I can feel this way about an expanse of seemingly unredeeming desert....can't others too find the beauty, peace and perhaps enlightenment?

    Thanks for the post, OP.....it has reminded me that I must return home from my snowy Valhalla to face the lizard king once again....only this time....in peace.
    Last edited by Maadjurguer; 02-13-2016 at 11:28 PM.

  8. #8
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    I just glanced at the re-route options. The west option is meh, utilizing existing roadways and cutting out some 14 miles of current trail. No thanks. The east option looks much better, but would probably be impacted more by the tailings views. I'd rather have that. Currently, you constantly see the giant Ray mine while descending Ripsey and can see it from sections of the Gila River segment.

    I was up on the Ripsey ridgeline today, soaking it all in. It's such a marvelous place. Maad hits it perfectly. I did see the re-route flagging for the east alternative. For those familiar with the descent off the ridgeline, it is after you initially drop down, followed by a climb, then another ridgeline descent. The second climb is a bit more punchy and has a short bit of HAB, it is here at the base of this climb where the flagging begins. From what we could see, it looks very cool, contouring the hillside as it wraps around.

    Personally, I hope they select the tailings option that keeps it over by the mine. I'd rather see a larger footprint by the Ray mine instead of a brand new footprint in Ripsey Wash.

    Also, on a side note. The AZT through the Ripsey segment is in the best shape it's ever been in. The trail steward has been doing some work out there. Not a ton, but exactly where the trail needed it. Adding drainage cuts, trimming the catclaw, filling in the rock chasm on the initial descent into the wash, moving rubble off the lower switchbacks of the Big HIll, etc. Today's ride was the first time I rode the trail clean from the upper gate all the way down the wash and up to the gate at the end of the side canyon wash. Even that was rideable today, as was the typically severely washed out/rutted jeep road climb with the black hose on it. The wildflowers are also making their presence known. Poppies/Lupines were blooming from the ascent up the Big Hill all the way to the Kelvin TH.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeskier46 View Post
    Personally, I hope they select the tailings option that keeps it over by the mine. I'd rather see a larger footprint by the Ray mine instead of a brand new footprint in Ripsey Wash.
    This^^^. For those inclined to write letters this is what I would include. I'm really torn knowing the copper has to come from somewhere. The most effective means to protect areas like this is to make it Wilderness. And then we can't ride bikes.

    I think some of it is BLM or is it all within the Tonto National Forest? Either way, BLM was partly established for mineral and resource extraction. FS to a lesser degree. I find the Apache Leap dealio a bit more onerous but it's all pretty much a done deal, no?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeskier46 View Post
    Also, on a side note. The AZT through the Ripsey segment is in the best shape it's ever been in. The trail steward has been doing some work out there. Not a ton, but exactly where the trail needed it. Adding drainage cuts, trimming the catclaw, filling in the rock chasm on the initial descent into the wash, moving rubble off the lower switchbacks of the Big HIll, etc. Today's ride was the first time I rode the trail clean from the upper gate all the way down the wash and up to the gate at the end of the side canyon wash. Even that was rideable today, as was the typically severely washed out/rutted jeep road climb with the black hose on it. The wildflowers are also making their presence known. Poppies/Lupines were blooming from the ascent up the Big Hill all the way to the Kelvin TH.
    For those who haven't been out there, do yourself a favor and make the effort. I won't say it is easy, but it is totally worthwhile. And like John said, Ripsey wash is in the best shape I've seen.

    I think the reroute looks really good and they promise to do the same quality as the Gila canyon trails. To me that will be preferable to the current descent. Yeah, there will be a big eyesore, but the expansiveness of the views will still be there. I think that this will continue to be a worthy section of trail.

  11. #11
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    That whole area from west of Superior to globe is a crap hole.

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