View of Oak Flat

photo by: Kevin Cassadore

11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Oak Flat

  • Location: Superior, AZ

Oak Flat is a sacred site to the San Carlos Apache and other Native American tribes. Protected in the past by Presidents Eisenhower and Nixon, Oak Flat contains many cultural resources including archaeological sites, historical sites, and artifacts.

“Before any potentially harmful mining activity takes place at Oak Flat, we need to make sure the tribes and others who care about this important place have a voice in shaping its future.”

Stephanie Meeks

Oak Flat is currently threatened by copper mining. A land exchange included in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015 aimed to open up the area to mining by conveying it to Resolution Copper, LLC, following an environmental review that is still ongoing in 2019.

In response, the National Trust included Oak Flat on the 2015 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list.

While the Chi'chil Bildagoteel (Oak Flat) Historic Districted was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2016, this significant site is still in danger. We and our partners, including the San Carlos Apache, are now encouraging members of Congress to reconsider this land exchange as any mining activity at Oak Flat would severely threaten this sacred place.

Stephanie Meeks, former president of the National Trust, said of Oak Flat's inclusion on the 11 Most list, “We hope this designation increases national awareness of Oak Flat and its profound importance to Native American tribes. The tribes who regard Oak Flat as a sacred place were not adequately consulted before this land exchange took place. Before any potentially harmful mining activity takes place at Oak Flat, we need to make sure the tribes and others who care about this important place have a voice in shaping its future.”

This Preservation Month, set aside time to celebrate and explore historic places in innovative ways. We can’t wait to see what you accomplish!

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