These are bizarre times with all systems, political, social, economic, natural, and spiritual in transition. There is some form of ecosystem assault everywhere on this precious planet. Our global challenge is the climate crisis; the science is undeniable that the ecosystem is in rapid decline. Our local challenge is 21st century industrialized mining repeating a “boom and bust” economic pattern with an industry history of walking away from environmental damages for the taxpayers to repair.

As a community activist working to protect the water and ecosystem from industrialized mining, I hear from a lot of people on all sides of the relocate question. Should I stay? Should I leave? Should I move here?

For me, there is no other place nor any other group of people I want to be with than those of us who have gathered in the Patagonia Mountains, because, as bleak as all the mining activity is, I believe there are options and alternatives. Remember that the mining company intended to be operating an open pit mine back in 2014? There is no open pit mine, proving that resistance does work.

Many community members are working to protect the water and the ecosystem and that work happens within a legal regulatory process defined by town, county, state, and federal regulations. Key community concerns include water and traffic.

The Town of Patagonia’s Flood & Flow Committee for the first time ever has brought together many of our local conservation organizations and there have been extensive discussions about the impacts of industrialized mining activity in this watershed. Actions are being taken to identify baseline data for the water.

At a June 25, invitation-only community meeting, South32 representatives stated the company’s first choice of exit from its property is Harshaw Road to Hwy 82 and is buying up several parcels of land in that area. This is what corporate imperialism feels like. This mining company has a lot of money to spend and it is spending it on real estate purchases and on what is known as “social license.” Watch for more large donations to various non-profit organizations in an effort to buy community silence so that the mining company can proceed with minimal regulatory challenges which cost it time and money.

As we co-create a world in which all sentient beings live just and sustainable lives in stewardship of this garden, “truth and reconciliation” work will be vital.

The Eastern Santa Cruz CommUNITY is populated with pro-active, creative people with a depth and breadth of knowledge and skills to successfully navigate through these transition times. Please volunteer with one (or more) of our local conservation groups to support efforts to protect the biological wealth that drives our local economy. Consider us the transition team through a deep adaptation for species survival. How we move forward determines the magnitude of the natural world’s responses to human initiated solutions. Together I believe we can co-create a local, thriving, resilient community.