Latest Developments/News

DATE: Feb 2, 2024
TO: Parks Residents
FR: Joe Amadeo, Brian Hughes

RE: Follow Up on Drake Mining Claim in the Spring Valley of Parks, AZ

As promised to all of you, we continue to monitor developments and non-developments pertaining to the Drake Mining Company’s claim that encompasses a very large part of the foothills of Mt. Sitgreaves, directly under its summit and directly above the Spring Valley Watershed and its Spring Valley Wash.

We are pleased to inform you that we were the recipients of an unsolicited invitation to join Nicole Branton, Forest Supervisor of the Kaibab National Forest earlier this week for a meeting that included many forest service managers and representatives of the Bill Williams Mountain opposition to pozzolan mining permits there. The purpose of the meeting was to keep our community informed of the actions that are now being seriously considered by the National Forest Service. No new decisions surrounding the Spring Valley Mining Claim by Drake are currently being considered nor evaluated.

To clarify, the Spring Valley Mining Claim by Drake has not evolved into an application for a mining permit in Parks. Drake’s Bill Williams Mountain claim has, indeed, resulted in a proposal for exploration being submitted to the National Forest Service. But given the new development of which we are about to explain to you, the Bill Williams Mountain proposal for exploration has been temporarily suspended.

Nicole Branton explained to us that the National Forest Service under her direction has decided to launch a Mineral Classification Process to determine the rarity or non-rarity of pozzolan so as to gain a better perspective on their ability to approve or deny current or future mining applications. This is a bit elusive given the odd descriptive words used to describe a mineral’s rarity or commonality, so please learn these words and their meanings as we move forward in opposition to any further development of mining interests in the Spring Valley. These ARE NOT dictionary definitions. These are “common man” or “layman’s” definitions according to my understanding, which is very clear:

  • Locatable Material: Rare materials like Uranium, Gold, Silver but not necessarily limited to these including most metallic mineral deposits and certain nonmetallic and industrial minerals.
  • Saleable Material: Not rare at all like sand, gravel, stone, clay, and other similar materials. Such mineral materials include deposits which, although they have economic value, are used for agriculture, building, abrasion, landscaping, and similar uses.

Why is this important to us?

  1. The Mining Law of 1872 is the major Federal law governing locatable minerals. The Forest Service may not prohibit locatable mineral operations that otherwise comply with applicable law, nor regulate those operations in a way that amounts to a prohibition. This actually answers a question I posed to Nicole in our last meeting, “Why can’t you just deny them access on Forest Roads?” This “regulation” would most likely constitute an unreasonable prohibition. (There could be other issues with using forest service roads for which I am unfamiliar.)
  2. Under the Forest Service’s mineral regulations, the Forest Service has more discretion in managing saleable, also called common variety, minerals. The Forest Service has the authority to deny a proposal to mine saleable minerals. So, in Brian and my evaluation of the statements at this meeting, this mineral classification analysis could lead us to a place where our further advocacy against the mining operation may have more weight.

Drake Mining Company has already been made aware that the mineral classification analysis is going to be conducted by a National Forest Service Certified Mineral Examiner, who will analyze samples and prepare a Mineral Classification Report. The National Forest Service has yet to assign this mineral examiner to the Kaibab National Forest Service. Therefore, no dates have been set nor estimated for initiation or completion of this analysis. That said, Nicole Branton offered to tell us that she expected this process (that has not begun) will take about a year to complete. The reason it will take so long is that the National Forest Service will be evaluating many other sites that contain pozzolan to carefully and thoroughly offer a comprehensive analysis as to whether pozzolan shall be considered rare or not-so-rare in our greater area/region.

Adding to the time needed for the Mineral Classification Process, the National Forest Service is REQUIRED to conduct an environmental review (“the NEPA”) on their own sampling activities that will occur during the Mineral Classification Process to identify potential effects to forest resources and any mitigations. It turns out that whenever anyone is disturbing, disrupting or breaking ground in the national forest including the Forest Service itself acquiring mineral samples as is the case here, an environmental impact process must be initiated along with input and comment from the public. As part of this required NEPA process, the forest service will be asking the public to weigh-in on their plans and help them refine them. So, in specific regard to this Mineral Classification Process, you’re likely to hear the Forest Service say things like, “we’re soliciting input on a proposal,” “public scoping period,” and “public comment period.” This specific, additional NEPA process has nothing to do with approval or denial of mining activity in Parks.

Brian and I have evaluated the Mineral Classification Process and believe that all of you should be in support of this much needed analysis. The two of us knew nothing about the parameters and importance of this process until Nicole Branton invited us to a meeting with her and her staff. We feel strongly that it is important for all of you to know that Nicole and her staff did not need our input or approval for this action. She and her staff discussed what needs they had at the Forest Service to help them make the most informed decisions and comments regarding any and all proposed mining of pozzolan in the Kaibab National Forest.

To be clear, the definition/classification of the pozzolan materials is not a guarantee that any future mining application will be approved or denied. This, however, is an added step in the process that Nicole Branton and her staff have initiated in order for them to gain much needed clarity on the role they will be able to play in future mining application approvals or denials.

From Brian’s and my perspective, we believe that the Kaibab is being led by folks who see themselves are protectors/stewards of their and our forests. We see them proactively and comprehensively restoring the Aspen groves and protecting/repairing them constantly to mitigate damage to their regrowth by elk and deer. We see them proactively and comprehensively executing critical, prescribed burns to clear our forest floor(s) of dead/downed wood and other forest floor debris like pine needles to try and prevent wildfires/conflagrations. We see their effective and hard fought battles against forest fires in our area and their management of lightning strike fires to affect future fire mitigation. We see their tedious management of forest thinning operations to restore the forest floor with its natural fauna and, again, to mitigate or prevent wildfires/conflagrations. So, it is not absent observation of their behavior that brings us to this conclusion: Nicole and her team are strong advocates for protection of our forests and wildlands.

With that in mind, it is important to note that their stewardship is complicated by mining laws that can, at times, make it so that mining application decisions are out of their control. Mining laws are under the purview and complete control of Congress, not the Forest Service. To make matters more complex, codified law as in the 1872 mining law has had many challenges that have been ruled upon in the judicial process, setting “precedents” that have become virtual addenda to the original codified law. Brian and I are not informed about the extent of these rulings and precedents. However, it is our sincere feeling that the Mineral Classification Process is one that is to be welcomed by all of us here in the Parks Community as its determinations may provide more opportunity for our opposition to a future mining application.

If at some point in the not too distant future, sometime after the Mineral Classification Process clears its NEPA review, as you are perusing the foothills of Mt. Sitgreaves in or around the survey-staked area of Drake’s Mining Claim, you may see Forest Service folks along with the Certified Mineral Specialist/Examiner doing in-ground examinations of the pozzolan deposits in the affected area. THIS IS NOT A SIGN THAT COMMERCIAL EXCAVATION HAS BEGUN. THIS IS NOT A SIGN THAT A MINING APPLICATION AS BEEN APPROVED. THIS IS NOT A SIGN THAT DRAKE HAS STARTED DESTROYING OUR MOUNTAIN. The Forest Service’s Certified Mineral Examiner will need to dig a bit, may need to take core samples, etc. That’s all that’s happening. PLEASE DO NOT CONFRONT, ACCOST OR HARASS these individuals. THEY ARE SERVING ALL OF OUR BEST INTERESTS IN THIS PROCESS!!


Joe Amadeo
Brian Hughes
928 635 1108 Joe
1+ 602 820 3703 Brian

November 7, 2023 UpdateAttorney General Kris Mayes’ office contacted me on Friday, Nov 3rd to inquire about Drake’s mining claim in Spring Valley and to get up to speed on our opposition. Her office is helping the Chino Valley residents oppose a mine in their community, see latest article below. Mayes’ office advised me to keep them updated as we move forward. Thank you to all who sent me this article via email.

October 30, 2023 Update:

COMMUNITY MEETING SCHEDULED for Saturday, November 11th at 11am.

Meeting will be held at the Maine School Gymnasium at 11am. We plan to have a few guests in attendance to provide us an update on the proposed Drake mining project in Spring Valley. In addition, I will provide all of you an update with all the work that has been done behind the scenes with local residents, agencies, State and Federal representatives, etc. We plan for this meeting to be an hour long.

We have invited the following to our meeting on Nov. 11th:

Drake Cement, LLC – replied with the following:

  • AZ Department of Enviornmental Quality – replied, unable to attend. I have a phone meeting with them this Thursday at 4pm.
  • National Forest Service – replied, will attend
  • Bureau of Land Management – replied, unable to attend and deferred to the NFS.
  • Senator Sinema – replied, will look at Sentor’s schedule and get back to us. 11/1 – Sinema’s office will not be able to attend due to a prior obligation.
  • Senator Mark Kelly – replied, Senator is checking his schedule and will get back to us. 11/5– Senator is unable to attend.
  • Representative Eli Crane – replied, unable to attend due to Veteran’s day. Advised to keep them posted.
  • AZ Daily Sun – replied, will attend.
  • KNAU Arizona – replied, they will try to send someone to the meeting.
  • AZ Game & Fish – replied, unable to attend.
  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service – replied, will attend.
  • Grand Canyon Trust Org – replied, checking schedule to determine if can attend.
  • American Bird Conservancy – replied, unable to attend. A formal letter will be submitted to be read at meeting.
  • Center for Biological Diversity – no response
  • Northern Arizona Audubon Society – replied, unable to attend.
  • News Channels 3, 5, 10, 12 & 15 – no response

October 10, 2023 Update – All, a good number of phone meetings have occured over the past two weeks, see below. I truly appreciate everyone’s focus on sending and emailing letters to all the contacts on the contact list. Keep it up and spread the word to your neighbors. I frequent the Mustang River Grill and I met two residents this past Friday that were not aware of Drake’s intent to mine in our community. Please help get the word out to everyone. I have a Parks resident mailing list and I will be mailing letters to the mailing address of residents later this week.

I had a phone meeting with the Grand Canyon Trust Organization last Thursday, 10/5 to discuss our concerns about Drake’s intent to mine in the Spring Valley area and the negative impact that mining will have on the Spring Valley wash/watershed. The Grand Canyon Trust Org’s Mission and Values is to safeguard the Grand Canyon and the Colorado plateau, specifically to protect the watersheds, water tanks, and the natural springs that exist in those areas. As you know, the Spring Valley wash/watershed connects to Cataract Creek, which connects to Havasu Creek and Havusu Creek converges into the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Many of you rely on the Spring Valley wash/watershed as your primary water source that is pulled from your wells. I spoke with the Public Lands Director, Cerissa Hoglander, and she is very concerned about the Spring Valley wash/watershed, the water tanks, and the natural springs that exist in the area and surrounding areas leading to the Colorado River. Director Hoglander stated that they want to be kept up to date on the operation and to notify them if an application is submitted by Drake to the BLM and NFS, which I informed her that we would. They will work hand in hand with the NFS, BLM, AZDEQ, and the EPA if and when Drake submits an application to mine in the Spring Valley area. This org is just as important as the EPA, AZDEQ, etc. to support our opposition. I will keep them posted as we move forward.

I had a phone meeting with the American Bird Conservancy (ABC) on Friday, 10/6. ABC’s Mission and Strategy is dedicated to conserving wild birds and their habitats throughout the Americas, which includes the Mexican Spotted Owl and their habitat that exists in the heart of Drake’s proposed mining site. I spoke to Hardy Kern, the Director of Government Relations, Birds and Pesticides Campaign and brought him up to speed on the Spotted Owl’s habitat and the fact that their habitat will be negatively impacted by Drake if mining is approved. I informed him that I have notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and they have responded back to me acknowledging the Spotted Owl and the Owl’s habitiat does exist in the proposed mining area, and that they are on standby as we move forward. ABC works in partnership with the FWS on issues like the one we are facing. I aslo informed Director Kern that the Northern Arizona Audubon Society is aware and they have committed to helping our cause if it gets to that point. ABC is equally as committed to helping our cause and offered their full support as we move forward. Director Kern informed me that we (ALL OF US) are taking the right actions to address this proposed mining site, and that he was impressed by everyone we have contacted and that have responded back to us thus far.

Lastly, I met with Julie Schreiner who is the Director of Constituent Services and Office Manager for Representative Eli Crane. I had a phone meeting with Director Schreiner earlier today, 10/10. She informed me that she read all the material I had sent her a week ago, visited our website, and understands our concern. She was going to present our concern regarding the proposed Drake mining site to her Legislative Staff at 12 noon PST today, which is an all-staff meeting to discuss the issues presented to Representative Crane and what action will be taken going forward. Director Shreiner informed me that she will provide me an update on the outcome of that 12 noon meeting in the next few days. She acknowledge that Representative Crane’s office has received letters and emails from Parks residents – GREAT! Director Schreiner also stated that she would be happy to attend future community meetings that we host. I told her that we don’t have a community meeting planned as of today, but I will keep her posted if that changes.

Please email me at or if you have any questions, suggestions, guidance, etc.

Thanks again for everyone’s efforts thus far! – OUR fight is not over as of today. -Brian

October 2, 2023 Update – I was scheduled to meet with Eli Crane’s staff this past Friday, however they had to cancel due to the pending government shutdown over the weekend. I will meet with them this week, pending a date and time as of this morning.

I have a meeting with the Grand Canyon Trust Organization this Thursday to discuss the proposed Drake mining project with them and determine how they can help our cause.

I had a phone conversation with the AZ Daily Sun and KNAU in Flagstaff last week. Both are very interested in publishing a story regarding this proposed mining project. I will work with them going forward.

Did you know? Spring Valley is the watershed area for the entire eastern face of Sitgreaves Mountain Range from Shultz Pass on Fire Rd 76 N to Spring Valley Rd. The Spring Valley wash/watershed eventually connects to Cataract Creek, which connects to Havasu Creek that drains directly into the Colorado River just north of us in the Grand Canyon.

More to come…thanks all! Brian

September 27, 2023 Update – I have been corresponding with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service over the past few weeks and they sent me the letter below. I have a meeting with Representative Eli Crane’s staff this Friday at 11am to discuss Drake’s mining plan to devestate our community. I will provide an update on my conversation with Representative Crane’s staff and other contacts I have spoken with this Friday.

Please continue to call, email, and write ALL officials in the contact list provided below. Take the time to do so to protect OUR community as ONE! Thank you for all your efforts thus far!

All – I keep hearing from some residents that the mine will not impact them because they live within mile markers 0-5 or south of the 40. The comment I heard recently is that the mining operation, “will only impact those up there, not down here (mile marker 5+).”…that is incorrect, it will impact ALL of us regardless of where you live.

We will have 25+ ton trucks hauling Pazzolan 200+ times a day, 9 months out of the year, for the next 20 years! Do you know what kind of noise that will produce and you will hear the noise of the trucks no matter where you live. Diesel trucks producing fumes and exhaust in the heart of our neighborhood, as they drive by the school, stopping at Route 66 to turn, creating traffic congestion that WE will deal with, and the toxic air that WE will breathe. Think of the children on the playground playing while those 25 ton trucks drive by…visualize that in your mind.

Please all, don’t just think that this mining operation will only impact those “up there” beyond mile marker 5… If you think that way then we will LOSE! Click the link below…This mining operation in Chino Valley is no different than what is proposed in Spring Valley. Mining Operations no matter the distance devastates and ruin communities, this is one of many examples! Do we want to be next??!! Why wait to fight???

I will look to post studies on air and noise pollution, proven damage to roads where 25 ton trucks drive on, and what harm will come to everyone who travels on Spring Valley Rd. It’s NOT GOOD!

9/21 Update – Residents, I know everyone is doing their best to write letters and send emails to the officials, representatives, etc. in the official contact list below…keep those letters going out! Thank you!!

We are working to coordinate a site visit with the AZDEQ so that they can understand the enviormental impact to the watershed and air/noise pollution that will occur. We have also contacted the following in regards to the Mexican Spotted Owl habitat that resides in the heart of the proposed mining site: US. Fish and Wildlife Service, Audubon Org, Wildlife Society, Birds of the world Org, Center for Biological Diversity, American Bird Conservancy, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, Defenders of Wildlife, Wildearth Guardians, KNAU, and Nature Serve Explorer. As of today, we have heard back from the Audubon Org and the Center of Biological Diversity, which is very good! Please let us know if we are missing an Org/Society/Agency that we should be reaching out to by emailing Additional updates to be published next week…thank you all for your efforts to protect OUR community as ONE!

September 15, 2023 – Supervisor Matt Ryan Meeting Summary

The meeting with Coconino Supervisor Matt Ryan lasted over an hour.  I briefed Supervisor Ryan on what we know of the proposed Drake mining project and the fact that the community is extremely upset that this mining project could decimate Parks as we know it today.  Supervisor Ryan is well aware of Drake and their mining claims that are scattered throughout Parks and in Northern AZ.  Supervisor Ryan offered up additional contacts for us to reach out to that could help our cause.  Supervisor Ryan specifically stated that we should reach out to Representative Eli Crane (done by Joe A. weeks ago), Representative David L Cook, and Secretary Deb Haaland (all on the contact list below).  I asked Supervisor Ryan if OUR community, Parks, had his unwavering support to oppose this mining project and if he would be issuing a public statement from his office to Drake opposing the proposed Spring Valley mining project.  Supervisor Ryan replied that he will support us in our efforts, however,he stated that he is not in a position to issue a public statement opposing the proposed Drake mining project at this time.  I advised Supervisor Ryan that we would keep him updated as we move forward. -Brian

Drake has NOT reached out to Joe or I, or any resident that we are aware of post the News Channel 3/5 segments, nor have they reached out after a number of news articles have been published.

Updated the Official Contact List – Added Rep David L Cook and Secretary Deb Haaland – please write/email both.

Great article by Wendy Howell titled “Parks Community Turns Out Information Meeting…” see article in Helpful Links/News Articles section

Response from BLM to a resident – Click on the blue link below as it provides you a map of all the Drake claims in our area.

From: “Hawes, David (Rem)” <>
Date: September 15, 2023 at 10:02:35 AM MST
Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] Opposition to Drake Mining in Parks, AZ

While the BLM adjudicates all mining claims filed on public lands, the BLM does not have surface authority over lands managed by other federal agencies. Environmental analysis and approval of any proposed exploration or mining activities on those claims that fall outside of casual use, are under the purview of the surface managing agency.  In the case of mining claims on the Kaibab National Forest, the surface managing agency is the U.S. Forest Service.

Rem Hawes

September 14, 2023 Update – We met with Matt Ryan yesterday to discuss OUR opposition of the Drake mining claim…summary of the meeting will be posted tomorrow. I created a consolidated list of email addresses for you to paste and copy into your BCC line so you can send your letters to all officials in one email..see below.

AZ Family News Channel 3TV & CBS 5 News segments, links below:

See letter template you can use/revise with your own words

Consolidated email list of officials minus Drake that you can copy and paste into your BCC of email with your letters…email me if you have questions or need help.

Spring Valley Cross Country Ski Trail

Pics & Drake comment provided by Parks resident, Jim Winschel.

Ski trail history in response to the Drake Cement, LLC proposed mining activity.

The western part of the multi-use, Spring Valley Cross Country Ski Trail would be obliterated resulting in closing of the trail for future use of cross country skiing, snow shoeing, hiking, mountain bike riding and equestrian riding.  This trail location was originally created by the forest service after consulting with locals who said the location offered a longer snow season compared to lower elevation sites.  It also provides the only access path into the wilderness area of the Sitgreaves Mt. especially the Eagle Rock area which allows visitors the chance to share the trail with century old fir trees and aspen groves at elevations around 8100 feet.  The total impact of closing the 11 mile ski trail will be a loss for the community. The trail was initiated by the FS in 1979, refurbished in 1985 by an Eagle Scout project and then maintained by community volunteers until present.  Around 2010 the trail was remarked to have its routes identified in both directions because of the increased usage.  For the Parks citizens, the proposed mining activity is unjustified (although maybe legal) that an idea of a wilderness trail can be brought to reality in 1979, enjoyed by many for 44 years then taken over and potentially destroyed by mining operations in 2023.

-Jim Winschel

Thank you Jim for providing us your comment in response to the proposed Drake mine, the pictures of the original article published about the trail opening in 1979, and the pictures of the original brochure published by the USDA & FS.

Drake mining claims in the heart of Mexican Spotted Owl Critical Habitat

Sept 3, 2023 Update

Joe and I would like to thank everyone for coming out to the meeting yesterday! What a phenomenal turnout…almost 200 of us showed up to hear how each of us can take action to protect OUR community! Thank you, thank you! We will look to have another meeting in the next 30 days or less. Please email, write and call all of the contacts on the list below…this is how we take action! Please email me at with questions, advice, or anything you would like us to do as a community. I am all ears!

I will be posting letter templates tomorrow and Tuesday…remember, your OWN words will be best (remember the advice Wendy gave us)…Why do you love it in Parks? What do you want to protect? Who do you want to protect? What will be destroyed and how will that impact you, the community, the land, the watershed, etc? As Joe stated, don’t focus on the “academic” reasons to protect Parks…focus on what matters to each of you!

Thank you to Craig Marsino for organizing the school gym for us to have this meeting! Thank you to Wendy Howell of the Williams-Grand Canyon Newspaper, Steve Dudley who is the leading the Bill Williams Mountain opposition, and to Kathi Clark who is our real estate leader in our community!

Also, submit a letter or voice your concerns by submitting a letter to the Editor of Williams News below…

Here is who we have contacted thus far:

-Contacted the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – they have been informed of the proposed mining project, the impact to the community and land, and advised us to contact the Yavapai Group in addition to everyone else we have contacted.

  • 9/6 Update: Robin Truitt of the EPA Responded and is concerned about the pollution of the Spring Valley Watershed, its ground water, and the potential for contaminants to reach the Colorado River. She has asked us to stay in touch with her.

-Sent letters/emails to all Government, State and Local Officials, including that of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The Kaibab National Forest Servicer Supervisor, Nicole Branton, is aware and has responded to our concern. BLM has not yet responded (we need them to respond).

  • 9/6 Update: The Kaibab National Forest Service Supervisor, Nicole Branton, is aware and responded to our concern. BLM responded, but it was a brief two sentence reply, directing us to contact the National Forest Service. This is confusing to us as we have been professionally reassured that the BLM is in charge of all mining projects (below ground). We are trying to sort this out.

-Matt Ryan, Mark Kelly, Kyrsten Sinema, Eli Crane, Raul Grijalva, Ruben Gallego, and Mayor Dent from Williams, AZ all have been invited to Saturday’s meeting.

Matt Ryan replied but cannot make it to the meeting due to prior obligation. We will look to get him to attend in future meetings.

Mayor Dent of Williams AZ replied but cannot make it to the meeting. We will look to get him to attend a future meeting.

  • 9/6 Update: Matt Ryan has reached out to Joe and I, and offered to meet with us on Wednesday, 9/13. We graciously accepted! We are hoping for Matt to issue a press release post our meeting with him. If and when that occurs, we will publish it for all of you to see.
  • Senator Kelly has responded that he has no time on his schedule at the moment, but has asked us to stay in touch with him.
  • No other Senators or Congressman/Congresswoman have replied as of today, 9/6/23

-Sent letters/emails to Drake Management and all contacts at Drake. Drake has yet to respond as of today.

-Sent a Media Advisory on Monday, 8/28 advising all state and local media, newspapers, radio and TV stations of the Drake mining project and the date/time of our meeting. We have heard from the following:

  • Wendy Howell of the Williams Newspaper responded and will attend Saturday’s meeting
  • News Channel 12 responded and would like to attend future meeting(s).

9/6 Update: Arizona’s Family TV KTVK-3/KPHO-CBS 5 are planning a trip to Sitgreaves for a story on the proposed mine – we will advise you when and if the segment will be aired once it’s filmed.

9/11 Update: Arizona’s Family TV KTVK-3/KPHO-CBS 5 came out to the Spring Valley area for an interview and tour of the proposed Drake mining site. The reporter rode horseback up from Spring Valley Rd to the Spring Valley watertank, and then into the area where mining stakes were placed…a total of 3+ hours was spent with the news team on Friday. Segments aired on Monday, 9/11 on 3 & 5 TV, see link at top of webpage.

What to Expect? Drake Mining Proposal to mine Bill Wiliams Mountain, click link below.

August 29, 2023 – 3:30pm Update

Fellow residents,

August 28, 2023

Join the Parks community for the first community meeting regarding the Drake mining project this Saturday, 9/2 at 1:30pm in the Maine School Gymnasium. You will hear about the mining project, it’s impact to our land, community, home values, and safety. In addition, we will have a number of guests who have been opposing the mining plans for Bill Williams Mountain in attendance.

7:00pm Update – We will look to have a ZOOM meeting link sent out for those that cannot attend in person. More info to come…

August 17, 2023

Just a short note to bring everybody up to speed on Drake mining interests.

Drake has now claimed an additional 1416 acres of Kaibab National Forest land for yet another Pozzolan open pit site. These most recent claims are called the Spring Valley claims and are located in Parks immediately behind Spring Valley Cabin, west of Spring Valley Road (see inserted map). Any development of this site into an open pit mine will result in loss of some very beautiful habitat and result in an immense increase of mining truck traffic down Spring Valley Road, through Parks.

If you have any concerns about this potential future development and you live in and around Parks, NOW is the time to say something. Once the trucks start rolling, it will be far too late! The mining trucks will transport mining rock of 300,000 to 500,000 tons each year for the NEXT 20 YEARS, up and down Spring Valley Rd!!

Map of Proposed Drake Mining Site West of Spring Valley Rd


How do I take action to STOP Drake?

You need to write your City, State, Government, County and Local officials and other officials listed in the attached contact sheet below (click the download button).

POZZOLAN – What is it??

What is pozzolan and what is it used for?

Basically it is siliceous volcanic ash. Pozzolan is a natural material that can be added to cement to strengthen and increase the density of concrete.

​Is pozzolan hazardous?

TOXICOLOGICAL INFORMATION (see attachment below)
Acute or short-term: This product is expected to cause irritation of the eyes, skin and mucous membranes. Product may cause sneezing and coughing if inhaled. Swallowing this product may produce gastrointestinal discomfort. Inhalation of this product may produce irritation of the upper respiratory tract and asthma like responses in some individuals.
Chronic or long-term: This product contains crystalline silica, which upon long-term exposure to levels above the PEL/TLV may produce bronchitis, silicosis, a fibrotic (scarring) disease of the lungs and potentially lung cancer. Studies have shown that smoking increases the risk of these diseases. This product may also increase the risk of scleroderma for which the causes are unknown, but some reports link over exposure to silica in combination with other chemicals to this disease.

Conditions to Avoid:
Any condition that may generate excessive dust (certainly a challenge for an open pit mine).

Helpful Links/News Articles

150-Year-Old Mining Law Hurts Taxpayers and the Environment

I never worry about action, but only about inaction.

-Winston Churchill

11 responses to “Untitled”

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  1. With this great start to a challenging situation, I feel optimistic that we will win the fight to stop the devastation of our beautiful forest! Thank you to Brian Hughes and the folks working with him, we are fortunate to have truly caring neighbors in Parks.

    1. We have been told that a petition would be worthless. Instead, we are encouraged to write letters emails to the officials listed on the saveparks website.

      1. Jil,
        You are correct. The best avenue to take is to write letters and emails to all officials we have published on the site. Letters and emails is the way to go. Have a great weekend everyone!

  2. I implore all of you to keep this fight going,I am not a resident of your area but a frequent visitor. I wish someone would bring up the blight that has affected Skull Valley. Not only is the plant an eyesore, the additional infrastructure and traffic has ruined the rural environment of this beautiful area. Please keep Parks pristine.
    Wade Phyfer, Cornville Az.

    1. Thank you for your support, Wade! We want to keep Parks the way it is today not only for OUR residents but for all of OUR friendly visitors like you!

  3. The Forest Service should not allow this mining if they truly believe in their multi-use principal.
    With Government & Big Business it usually seems that the little people don’t count.

  4. Parks has always been a beautiful place if Drake comes in theyll not only destroy the mountain theyll be also destroying the forest around them and theyll be taking away the animals homes. So much of our forest have been destroyed due to big corparations coming in and mining and putting up buildings. Parks should remain a beautiful place as God has made it that way so we can injoy its beauty not a mine

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