Climbers hung a “Save Oak Flat” banner three quarters of the way up a 300-foot tower at the Atlantis climbing area to protest the Resolution Copper project.

Resolution Copper intends to mine the area’s copper ore using a method called block-cave mining, which will result in a two-mile-wide, 1,000-foot-deep crater, destroying land that is sacred to the San Carlos Apache, provides vital water and unique habitat to Arizona wildlife, and is home to hundreds of bouldering problems and sport routes.

The land exchange was passed when Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake tagged it on to a national defense bill in 2015 after failing multiple times to get the exchange passed on its own.

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