I have been trying to write about my beautiful Flux Canyon, but it’s hard. Last month South32 told Flux Canyon residents that they plan to run 80 trucks every day on our little dirt road, full of acid ore from their mine.
I never thought it would happen to me. You hear about disasters, of course. Every day there are fires and tornados, hurricanes and earthquakes, people lose their homes and their lives. You feel sad for them, remotely, while feeling schadenfreude that it isn’t happening to you. I thought I had it all planned out. I would build my dream home of adobe and wood. It would be sustainable, in an out-of-the way canyon of oak and mesquite. I would die someday in that home, happy that, like the Spider Tree who fell and shot her rhizomes into the earth for her surrounding oak children, I would have something worthwhile to leave behind me.
But life was happening while I was making other plans. Big Money was coming for us. Big Money doesn’t care about the people who live in this canyon, this town, Big Money doesn’t care that they will have to bulldoze down our red cliffs, the Skull Rock, the Lady, the Cochise Head, the CCC Bunkhouse, the Bobcat Cave, and the Mother Tree. We are in the way.
Could South32 take their ore out of the mountains another way? Of course. They had 13 different options, including the disastrous Cross Creek exit. But now Flux Canyon is their preferred route because it will cost less money than any other way out.
There is no way out for us in the canyon. We will lose our homes and our property values. The Mother Tree will be murdered and, unlike the Spider Tree, she will not leave anything behind for her children. Neither will I.