At-Risk Devil's Canyon Near Superior is Subject of Short Film by Photographer Elias Butler; Area Could be Destroyed in Mining Plan

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

A short film by a Flagstaff photographer argues against the possible destruction of the Devil's Canyon wilderness while highlighting the area's rich scenery and wildlife.

The wilderness area, including the popular Oak Flat Campground just east of Superior, is the target of a long-planned mining proposal to tap an estimated $60 billion in copper deposits. The plan remains on hold, with a bill in Congress floating around that would swap the land -- which was supposed to have been protected forever by a 1955 decree by President Eisenhower -- for land somewhere else in the state.

Photographer Elias Butler calls his 11:24 film, uploaded to YouTube late last month, "A Not-So-Simple Exchange: Why Arizona's Oak Flat Deserves Continued Protection From Copper Mining." See also: - Camelback Mountain Parking Options Considered by Phoenix Include No Parking Lot at Echo Canyon Trailhead - Echo Canyon Trail and Trailhead at Camelback Mountain to Close January 28 for Renovations

The film is well put-together and powerful as a piece of propaganda in opposition to the mining plan. We won't vouch for all of the facts in it, though, including the idea that the entire area will be destroyed if the mining plan takes place. (We've read articles in the past that liken the potential destruction to that of an asteroid strike, but have also read rebuttals by mining supporters who claim the surface land won't be damaged.)

In any case, if you want to spend a few minutes looking at coatimundi babies, awesome rock hoodoos and running streams, all set to the idea that this all would be gone if the mining work ever begins, check it out:

Follow Jackalope Ranch on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.